We describe herein a method for controlling the pattern of permissible cell migration and proliferation on a substrate in time and space. Using this method, a confluent monolayer of cells that is confined within a defined region is released into a neighboring region. Incorporated into the method is an electrochemical technique that uses a scanning microelectrode to draw regions on the surface of the system that thereafter can support cell migration and growth. The supporting glass substrate is patterned with regions of 2-methacryloyloxyethyl phosphorylcholine (MPC) polymer that are not affected by the electrochemical treatment and also robustly resist cellular overgrowth as well as regions that can be individually switched when electrochemically treated from cell repellent to cell adhering. It is therefore possible to strictly define the areas into which cells can migrate. We found that HeLa cells migrate more rapidly as the width of cell-adhering lanes increases until a width of ca. 50 μm is reached, at which point the migration rate is roughly constant. We also designed a drug assay using our cell migration technique. The technique allows for cell migration only into defined region(s) and therefore may become an important tool for evaluating the biological activity of potential drugs because drug activity and cell motility often directly correlate.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry