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Ann Biomed Eng. 2011 Sep;39(9):2329-45. doi: 10.1007/s10439-011-0352-z. Epub 2011 Jul 15.

Endothelial cell micropatterning: methods, effects, and applications.

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Department of Biomedical Engineering, Oregon Health & Science University, CH13B, Portland, OR 97239, USA.


The effects of flow on endothelial cells (ECs) have been widely examined for the ability of fluid shear stress to alter cell morphology and function; however, the effects of EC morphology without flow have only recently been observed. An increase in lithographic techniques in cell culture spurred a corresponding increase in research aiming to confine cell morphology. These studies lead to a better understanding of how morphology and cytoskeletal configuration affect the structure and function of the cells. This review examines EC micropatterning research by exploring both the many alternative methods used to alter EC morphology and the resulting changes in cellular shape and phenotype. Micropatterning induced changes in EC proliferation, apoptosis, cytoskeletal organization, mechanical properties, and cell functionality. Finally, the ways these cellular manipulation techniques have been applied to biomedical engineering research, including angiogenesis, cell migration, and tissue engineering, are discussed.

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