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Keywords:

  • electrohydrodynamic jet;
  • polyacrylamide;
  • hydrogels;
  • proteins;
  • surface modification

Abstract

Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

Cells respond to and are directed by physiochemical cues in their microenvironment, including geometry and substrate stiffness. The development of substrates for cell culture with precisely controlled physiochemical characteristics has the potential to advance the understanding of cell biology considerably. In this communication, E-jet printing is introduced as a method for creating high-resolution protein patterns on substrates with controlled elasticity. It is the first application of E-jet printing on a soft surface. Protein spots as small as 5 µm in diameter on polyacrylamide are demonstrated. The patterned hydrogels are shown to support cell attachment and spreading. Polyacrylamide substrates patterned by E-jet printing may be applied to further the study of cellular mechanobiology.