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Keywords:

  • Poisson's ratios;
  • polyethylene glycol;
  • porous scaffolds;
  • tissue engineering;
  • biomaterials

Abstract

Cells sense and respond to mechanical forces, regardless of whether the source is from a normal tissue matrix, an adjacent cell or a synthetic substrate. In recent years, cell response to surface rigidity has been extensively studied by modulating the elastic modulus of poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG)-based hydrogels. In the context of biomaterials, Poisson's ratio, another fundamental material property parameter has not been explored, primarily because of challenges involved in tuning the Poisson's ratio in biological scaffolds. Two-photon polymerization is used to fabricate suspended web structures that exhibit positive and negative Poisson's ratio (NPR), based on analytical models. NPR webs demonstrate biaxial expansion/compression behavior, as one or multiple cells apply local forces and move the structures. Unusual cell division on NPR structures is also demonstrated. This methodology can be used to tune the Poisson's ratio of several photocurable biomaterials and could have potential implications in the field of mechanobiology.