Development of a tunable 3D wrinkled platfom for designing cellular three-dimensional communication networks
thesisposted on 22.05.2021, 17:26 by Bethany R. Hughes
The study of cell-cell communication is hindered by the absence of a platform which is capable of specifically directing cellular growth while allowing examination of the communication between cells. In this thesis, a tuneable micro-to-nano scale wrinkled nonplanar platform was developed and optimized through the use of photolithography and a microfluidic washing method. The platform demonstrated the ability to create micro and nanowrinkled structures in a wide range of flow conditions. The developed platform was then used as a cell culture platform to investigate the spacing dependence of bovine fibroblasts. The identification of a critical bridging distance for bovine fibroblasts provided a means to optimized the platform for culturing a cellular communication network between bovine fibroblasts. The cellular network which resulted demonstrated, via FRAP (Fluorescence-recovery-after-photobleaching), the capacity for communication between cells. Creating multilevel length scaled structures on a tunable platform which directed cellular growth while maintaining communication presents potential applications in research, industry and clinical aspects.