Patterned Co-Culture of Primary Hepatocytes and Fibroblasts Using Polyelectrolyte Multilayer Templates

Authors

  • Srivatsan Kidambi,

    1. Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA
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  • Lufang Sheng,

    1. Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA
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  • Martin L. Yarmush,

    1. Center for Engineering in Medicine/Department of Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School and Shriners Burns Hospital, Boston, MA, USA
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  • Mehmet Toner,

    1. Center for Engineering in Medicine/Department of Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School and Shriners Burns Hospital, Boston, MA, USA
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  • Ilsoon Lee,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA
    • Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA. Fax: +517 432 1105
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  • Christina Chan

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA
    2. Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA
    • Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA. Fax: +517 432 1105
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Abstract

This paper describes the formation of patterned cell co-cultures using the layer-by-layer deposition of synthetic ionic polymers and without the aid of adhesive proteins/ligands such as collagen or fibronectin. In this study, we used synthetic polymers, namely poly(diallyldimethylammonium chloride) (PDAC) and sulfonated polystyrene (SPS) as the polycation and polyanion, respectively, to build the multilayer films. We formed SPS patterns on polyelectrolyte multilayer (PEM) surfaces either by microcontact printing PDAC onto SPS surfaces or vice-versa. To create patterned co-cultures on PEMs, we capitalize on the preferential attachment and spreading of primary hepatocytes on SPS as opposed to PDAC surfaces. In contrast, fibroblasts readily attached to both PDAC and SPS surfaces, and as a result, we were able to obtain patterned co-cultures of fibroblast and primary hepatocytes on synthetic PEM surfaces. We characterized the morphology and hepatic-specific functions of the patterned cell co-cultures with microscopy and biochemical assays. Our results suggest an alternative approach to fabricating controlled co-cultures with specified cell–cell and cell–surface interactions; this approach provides flexibility in designing cell-specific surfaces for tissue engineering applications.

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