• cell migration;
  • gradients;
  • micropatterns;
  • topography
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

A novel microtextured cell substrate with variable local density and anisotropy as a platform for guided cell migration is presented by A. Levchenko, K.-Y. Suh, et al. on page 1579. A simple, scalable, and cost-effective technique, capillary force lithography, is used to fabricate precise microtopographic features on an optically transparent glass coverslip. Live cell motility is found to be extremely sensitive to variation in the local density and anisotropy of rectangular lattices, with cell elongation and speed decreasing on a symmetric lattice. Cells integrate orthogonal contact guidance cues when determining the direction of their orientation and movement.