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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2005 Jan 25;102(4):975-8. Epub 2005 Jan 14.

Directing cell migration with asymmetric micropatterns.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Harvard University, 12 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA.


This report shows that the direction of polarization of attached mammalian cells determines the direction in which they move. Surfaces micropatterned with appropriately functionalized self-assembled monolayers constrain individual cells to asymmetric geometries (for example, a teardrop); these geometries polarize the morphology of the cell. After electrochemical desorption of the self-assembled monolayers removes these constraints and allows the cells to move across the surface, they move toward their blunt ends.

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