Directing cell function and fate via micropatterning: Role of cell patterning size, shape, and interconnectivity


Micropatterning-based geometric cell confinement provides novel templates for investigating cellular function and fate. Cell size, shape, and degree of connectivity among cells can be systematically manipulated using micropatterning, allowing for the studies of the effects of patterned cell geometries on cell behavior. Cells conformed to micropatterns develop unique intracellular architectures and signaling activities, regulating cell proliferation, migration, survival/apoptosis, commitment, and differentiation. Cell patterning size controls cell survival and apoptosis and stem cell fate via cytoskeletal tension signaling such as RhoA-ROCK. Cell patterning shape affects cell growth and migration via altered cellular polarity and Rac1 signaling. Modulation of cell-cell interconnectivity via micropatterning affects proliferation and differentiation via regulating the expression of cell-cell interaction molecules such as cadherin. Systematic assessment of cell function and fate using micropatterned cells will shed new insights for understanding the mechanisms in cell and molecular biology studies and for the control of cell behavior in biomedical applications.

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Correspondence to Jung Yul Lim.

Additional information

Poudel and Menter contributed equally.

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Poudel, I., Menter, D.E. & Lim, J.Y. Directing cell function and fate via micropatterning: Role of cell patterning size, shape, and interconnectivity. Biomed. Eng. Lett. 2, 38–45 (2012).

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  • Micropatterning
  • Geometric confinement
  • Cell size
  • Shape
  • Interconnectivity