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Complex Stiffness Gradient Substrates for Studying Mechanotactic Cell Migration



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Polyacrylamide gels are cast upon a stiff support with controlled topography, resulting in a thin gel layer of variable height. The topographical profiles project a stiffness map onto the gel, resulting in controlled linear and non-linear 2D stiffness gradients. Fibroblasts, which migrate towards stiffer substrates, accumulate in areas with a gel thickness below 15 μm.