Geometric Considerations of Micro- to Nanoscale Elastomeric Post Arrays to Study Cellular Traction Forces


  • We gratefully acknowledge support from the Army Research Office/Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative, National Institutes of Health, RESBIO and the New Jersey Center for Biomaterials, Materials Research Science and Engineering Center and Nano/Bio Interface Center of the University of Pennsylvania. We thank Dana M. Pirone for critically reading this manuscript.


original image

Micro- to nanoscale elastomeric post arrays with different post geometries were used to probe the effects of local substrate architecture on cell spreading and traction force generation in adherent cells (see figure). As post density increases, cell morphology on the post arrays increasingly resembles that of cells on continuous substrates. In addition, contractile strain energy generated by cells remained constant across substrates with different post stiffness or adhesive surface area.