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Keywords:

  • cell patterning;
  • directional persistence;
  • microcontact printing;
  • multiple cell types;
  • tissue engineering

Abstract

In vivo, different cell types assemble in specific patterns to form functional tissues. Reproducing this process in vitro by designing scaffold materials to direct cells precisely to the right locations at the right time is important for the next generation of biomaterials. Here, using microarray amplification of natural directional persistence (MANDIP), simultaneous assembly of fibroblasts and endothelial cells is demonstrated by directing their long-range migration. Amplification of the directional persistence occurs through morphology-induced polarity and the asymmetric positioning of individual microsized adhesive islands that restrict lamellipodia attachment, and thus migration, to one preset direction. Quantitative analysis of cell migration on different MANDIP designs yields insight to the relative importance of the asymmetric island shapes and their arrangement. The approach enables spatial patterning of different cell types with micrometer-scale precision over large areas for investigation of cell-cell interactions within complex tissue architectures.