STEP-enabled Force Measurement Platform of Single Migratory Cells
Ng, Colin Uber
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Spinneret based Tunable Engineered Parameters (STEP) Platform is a recently reported pseudo-dry spinning and non-electrospinning technique that allows for the deposition of aligned polymeric nano-fibers with control on fiber diameters and orientation in single and multiple layers (diameter: sub 100nm micron, length: mm-cm), deposition (parallelism 2.5 degrees) and spacing (microns)). A wide range of polymers such as PLGA, PLA, PS, and PU have been utilized for their unique material properties in scaffold design. In this thesis two unique bioscaffolds are demonstrated for the measurement of group cell migration for wound closure and single cell contractility force for the study of force modulation. The wound healing assay bridges the gap between confluent reservoirs of NIH3T3 fibroblasts through arrangement of a suspended array of fibers guiding group cell migration along the fiber axis. This platform demonstrates that topographical and geometrical features of suspended fibers play a very important role in wound closure. Spacing, alignment and orientation were optimized to shown an increased rate of closure. In the second complementary assay, we report a fused-fiber network of suspended fibers capable of measuring single cell forces. Results from our experiments demonstrate that force behavior is dependent on mechanical properties such as stiffness and geometry of fiber networks. We also demonstrate changes in spatial and temporal organization of focal adhesion zyxin in response to single cell migration on these networks.
- Masters Theses