Microtech2010 2010

Flexible Micropost Arrays For Studying Traction Forces Of Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells

Q. Cheng, Z. Sun, G.A. Meininger, M. Almasri
University of Missouri, US

Keywords: force sensor, micropost, vascular muscle cell

Abstract:

This paper describes the design, modeling, fabrication and characterization of micromachined arrays of high density 3-dimensional microposts fabricated using flexible silicone elastomers for studying traction forces generated by vascular smooth muscle cell. It also reports detailed measurements of Young’s modulus and spring constant of microposts with various diameters. The micropost arrays were fabricated with diameters ranged from 3 to 10 µm, and with a height to diameter aspect radio up to 10. We have measured the spring constant of each post used in cell culturing experiment and found that posts with different diameters have different Young’s Modulus values. The average Young’s modulus of micropost with diameters between 5-9 µm, and 14-18 µm, which are cured at room temperature for 24 hours, were 0.958 MPa, and 0.535 MPa., respectively. Vascular smooth muscle cells were cultured on top of the fabricated micropost array. Prior to cell culturing, the microposts were treated with oxygen plasma using Reactive Ion Etch System in order to improve the adhesion between cells and the top of the post surface selectively. The cell traction forces magnitude and direction were determined. The post deflection and the corresponding cell traction forces were 7.13 µm and 24.25 nN, respectively.
 
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