In this study, multi-photon lithography (MPL) was used to precisely control the microenvironment of cells in terms of the biochemical and biophysical properties of the used hydrogel matrix. The capability of the process to induce cell alignment, directional cell migration and endothelial sprouting in the hydrogel matrix was demonstrated. Human adipose-derived stem cells (hASCs) were shown to align in response to a photografted pattern. Co-culture spheroids of hASCs and human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) have been utilized to study the directional migration of hASCs into the modified regions.
This work paves the way toward the use of this technique inside microfluidic devices, where the effect of further cellular signals, such as shear stress or vascular endothelial growth factor concentration gradients, can be studied and ultimately used for the controlled vascularization of organs-on-a-chip.
Guiding cell migration in 3D with high‑resolution photografting
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