Sheets of cells can be used for tissue regenerative medicine. Cell alignment within the sheet is now a key factor in the next generation of this technology. Anisotropic cell sheets without random cell orientations have been conventionally produced with photolithographically, microfabricated substrates using special facilities and equipment. Here we demonstrate a more accessible approach to the fabrication of anisotropic substrates. We locally deformed part of an elastic membrane and simultaneously oxidized the surface to create microwrinkles as well as to enable adhesion to the extracellular matrix. The approach with the local loading made it possible to orient cells in controlled directions within a single membrane sheet depending on the strains determined by the controllable deformation. This technique potentially enables a versatile design of microwrinkles for target-compatible cell alignments.
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