Sharon L. Kennedy*, Newell Washburn, Amit Sehgal, Alamgir Karim, Eric Amis
National Institute of Standards and Technology, Polymers Division, Gaithersburg, MD 20899
It has been well established that cell substrate topography can affect cell morphology and cell behavior. Numerous groups have demonstrated that cell alignment, anisotropic cell spreading and cell proliferation can be controlled by various topographical features. Despite these studies, there are major outstanding questions to be addressed in the area of topographical affects on cell adhesion, growth and proliferation. Several experimental variables can be used to define topography. If one focuses on patterned grooved surfaces alone, the experimental variables can include pattern depth, ridge and groove width, pitch or repeat spacing, polymer type, surface treatment and the selection of cells types studied. It would be extremely tedious to explore each variable on individually prepared substrates.  Even if all variations of parameters were individually determined, the synergistic or simultaneous effects of property variations on cellular response are not investigated. It is therefore advantageous to apply a high-throughput approach to study the effect of cellular interactions with surfaces. Toward this goal, we have taken the first step in demonstrating that a high throughput approach can be used to study the interaction of cells on a topographical surface.  Grooved DL-polylactide coated surfaces with a step gradient in pattern dimensions were prepared using conventional photolithographic methods. The response of MC3T3-E1 osteoblasts cell on these surfaces were measured and compared with literature results.
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