Directed growth of fibroblasts into three dimensional micropatterned geometries via self-assembling scaffolds

Mustapha Jamal, Noy Bassik, Jeong Hyun Cho, Christina L. Randall, David H. Gracias

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


We describe the use of conventional photolithography to construct three dimensional (3D) thin film scaffolds and direct the growth of fibroblasts into three distinct and anatomically relevant geometries: cylinders, spirals and bi-directionally folded sheets. The scaffolds were micropatterned as two dimensional sheets which then spontaneously assembled into specific geometries upon release from the underlying substrate. The viability of fibroblasts cultured on these self-assembling scaffolds was verified using fluorescence microscopy; cell morphology and spreading were studied using scanning electron microscopy. We demonstrate control over scaffold size, radius of curvature and folding pitch, thereby enabling an attractive approach for investigating the effects of these 3D geometric factors on cell behaviour.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1683-1690
Number of pages8
Issue number7
StatePublished - Mar 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We acknowledge the Integrated Imaging Center, Michael McCaffery and Ed Perkins for their assistance with SEM preparation. We also thank George M. Stern and Martin Rietveld. This work was funded in part by the NIH Director's New Innovator Award Program, part of the NIH Roadmap for Medical Research, through grants DP2-OD004346-01 and DP2-OD004346-01S1 , and the National Science Foundation IGERT Program ( DGE-0549350 ).


  • Cell culture
  • Curvature
  • Photolithography
  • Tissue engineering


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