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Microfabricated structures for biology

Thursday, November 07, 2013 — Poster Session II

12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

FAES Academic Center (Upper-Level Terrace)




  • N.Y. Morgan
  • J.S. Yoon


Originally developed for the semiconductor industry, microfabrication techniques are now routinely used to make biocompatible devices with dimensions ranging from a few microns to a millimeter. These can be particularly useful for studies of cells, by providing simple confinement or defining microenvironments at lengthscales that mimic in vivo structures on platforms compatible with high-resolution optical imaging. Using our on-campus microfabrication facility, we have made a number of devices in close collaboration with other intramural groups, using an iterative design process. This poster will discuss a few examples that highlight the potential range of applications, including: 1) an agarose device used for spatiotemporal control of chemical gradients across a 3D collagen network, for the study of immune cell chemotaxis; 2) an oxygen-transmissive membrane patterned with arrays of micropillars spaced at typical intercapillary distances, used for 3D cell culture with controlled gas exchange; and 3) a PDMS microfluidic device for depositing a surface gradient of chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans, subsequently used for neural cell culture. In addition, we provide an overview of fabrication techniques, material choices, and design considerations for researchers interested in using microfabrication in their own work.

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