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Sci. STKE, 27 November 2007
Vol. 2007, Issue 414, p. pl6
[DOI: 10.1126/stke.4142007pl6]


Substrate-Bound Protein Gradients for Cell Culture Fabricated by Microfluidic Networks and Microcontact Printing

Anne C. von Philipsborn1, Susanne Lang2, Zhongxiang Jiang1, Friedrich Bonhoeffer2, and Martin Bastmeyer1*

1Universitaet Karlsruhe (TH), Zoologisches Institut, Zell- und Neurobiologie, Haid-und-Neu-Strasse 9, 76131 Karlsruhe, Germany.
2Max-Planck-Institut für Entwicklungsbiologie, Spemannstrasse 35, 72076 Tuebingen, Germany.

Abstract: Graded distributions of proteins are pivotal for many signaling processes during development, such as morphogenesis, cell migration, and axon guidance. Here, we describe a technique to fabricate substrate-bound stepwise protein gradients by means of a microfluidic network etched into a silicon wafer with an array of parallel 14-micrometer–wide channels, which can be filled with a series of arbitrarily chosen protein solutions. In a subsequent microcontact printing step, the protein pattern is transferred onto a surface and is used as a substrate for cell culture. Cellular responses to a defined microscopic pattern of a protein, such as guided axonal outgrowth and directed migration, cell polarization, changes in morphology, and signaling, can be thus studied in a controlled in vitro environment.

*Corresponding author. E-mail, bastmeyer{at}

Citation: A. C. von Philipsborn, S. Lang, Z. Jiang, F. Bonhoeffer, M. Bastmeyer, Substrate-Bound Protein Gradients for Cell Culture Fabricated by Microfluidic Networks and Microcontact Printing. Sci. STKE 2007, pl6 (2007).

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