Substrates with Patterned Extracellular Matrix and Subcellular Stiffness Gradients Reveal Local Biomechanical Responses

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Abstract

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A substrate fabrication process is developed to pattern both the extracellular matrix (ECM) and rigidity at sub-cellular spatial resolution. When growing cells on these substrates, it is found that cells respond locally in their cytoskeleton assembly. The presented method allows unique insight into the biological interpretation of mechanical signals, whereas photolithography-based fabrication is amenable to integration with complex microfabricated substructures.

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