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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1999 May 11;96(10):5545-8.

Patterning cells and their environments using multiple laminar fluid flows in capillary networks.

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


This paper describes the use of laminar flow of liquids in capillary systems to pattern the cell culture substrate, to perform patterned cell deposition, and to pattern the cell culture media. We demonstrate the patterning of the cell culture substrate with different proteins, the patterning of different types of cells adjacent to each other, the patterned delivery of chemicals to adhered cells, and performing enzymatic reactions over select cells or over a portion of a cell. This method offers a way to simultaneously control the characteristics of the surface to which cells are attached, the type of cells that are in their vicinity, and the kind of media that cells or part of a cell are exposed to. The method is experimentally simple, highly adaptable, and requires no special equipment except for an elastomeric relief that can be readily prepared by rapid prototyping.

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