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Scientific article
English

Laser‐Assisted Strain Engineering of Thin Elastomer Films to Form Variable Wavy Substrates for Cell Culture

Published inSmall, vol. 15, no. 21, 1900162
Publication date2019
Abstract

Endothelial and epithelial cells usually grow on a curved environment, at the surface of organs, which many techniques have tried to reproduce. Here a simple method is proposed to control curvature of the substrate. Prestrained thin elastomer films are treated by infrared laser irradiation in order to rigidify the surface of the film. Wrinkled morphologies are produced upon stress relaxation for irradiation doses above a critical value. Wrinkle wavelength and depth are controlled by the prestrain, the laser power, and the speed at which the laser scans the film surface. Stretching of elastomer substrates with a “sand clock”‐width profile enables the generation of a stress gradient, which results in patterns of wrinkles with a depth gradient. Thus, different combinations of topography changes on the same substrate can be generated. The wavelength and the depth of the wrinkles, which have the characteristic values within a range of several tens of µm, can be dynamically regulated by the substrate reversible stretching. It is shown that these anisotropic features are efficient substrates to control polarization of cell shapes and orientation of their migration. With this approach a flexible tool is provided for a wide range of applications in cell biophysics studies.

Keywords
  • Cellcurvotaxis
  • Curvature
  • Dynamic substrates
  • Laser treatment
  • Strain engineering
Citation (ISO format)
TOMBA, Caterina et al. Laser‐Assisted Strain Engineering of Thin Elastomer Films to Form Variable Wavy Substrates for Cell Culture. In: Small, 2019, vol. 15, n° 21, p. 1900162. doi: 10.1002/smll.201900162
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Article (Published version)
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ISSN of the journal1613-6810
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