Photothermally triggered actuation of hybrid materials as a new platform for in vitro cell manipulation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Details

Original languageEnglish
Article number14700
Pages (from-to)1-12
JournalNature Communications
Volume8
Publication statusPublished - 13 Mar 2017
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Researchers

  • Amy Sutton
  • Tanya Shirman
  • Jaakko Timonen

  • Grant T. England
  • Philseok Kim
  • Mathias Kolle
  • Thomas Ferrante
  • Lauren D. Zarzar
  • Elizabeth Strong
  • Joanna Aizenberg

Research units

  • Harvard University
  • Pennsylvania State University
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Abstract

Mechanical forces in the cell's natural environment have a crucial impact on growth, differentiation and behaviour. Few areas of biology can be understood without taking into account how both individual cells and cell networks sense and transduce physical stresses. However, the field is currently held back by the limitations of the available methods to apply physiologically relevant stress profiles on cells, particularly with sub-cellular resolution, in controlled in vitro experiments. Here we report a new type of active cell culture material that allows highly localized, directional and reversible deformation of the cell growth substrate, with control at scales ranging from the entire surface to the subcellular, and response times on the order of seconds. These capabilities are not matched by any other method, and this versatile material has the potential to bridge the performance gap between the existing single cell micro-manipulation and 2D cell sheet mechanical stimulation techniques.

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