Title

HYDROGEL CELL CULTURE CHIPS BASED ON FEMTOSECOND-LASER PROCESSING

Date of Award

June 2018

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Biomedical and Chemical Engineering

Advisor(s)

Pranav Soman

Second Advisor

Teng Zhang

Subject Categories

Engineering

Abstract

Organized cellular alignment is critical for a variety of biological phenomena as well as to control tissue microarchitecture necessary for regenerative medicine and tissue engineering applications. This thesis presents a simple and direct method to align cells in arbitrary user-defined orientations within cell-laden hydrogels. Femtosecond laser direct writing was used to induce internal material modifications, coined as ‘densification’ and ‘ablation’ within cell-laden gelatin methacrylate (GelMA) hydrogel. Line modifications introduced within cell-laden GelMA were used to align four cell types, including mouse C3H-10T1/2s fibroblasts, mouse IDG-SW3 osteocytes, HUVECs and human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs)-mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). Cellular alignment as a function of cell-culture time, lines spacing, and effect of Cytochalasin D were characterized. Besides, temporal fabrication, which means that laser writing can be accomplished at any time point, and 3D fabrication including multilayers patterns were studied in this research. This powerful method to align cells along user-defined 2D and 3D patterns can be potentially used to create next generation tissue models.

Other than cell alignment, cellular interaction also plays an important role in various biological process. This thesis also presents a new method, combining Digital Micro-mirror Device (DMD) and femtosecond laser writing processing to make polyethylene glycol diacrylate (PEGDA) hydrogel cell culture chips with microchannels. This sort of cell culture chips includes cell-cell communication chips which were used to test the cellular communication between mice MLO-Y4 osteocytes, and cell migration chips were used to study migration of Saos-2 osteosarcoma cells. Such cost-effective and time-saving method is predicted to be technological platforms for studying cell-cell interaction.

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