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Biomicrofluidics. 2012 Jun;6(2):24111-2411112. doi: 10.1063/1.4704522. Epub 2012 Apr 13.

Covalently immobilized biomolecule gradient on hydrogel surface using a gradient generating microfluidic device for a quantitative mesenchymal stem cell study.


Precisely controlling the spatial distribution of biomolecules on biomaterial surface is important for directing cellular activities in the controlled cell microenvironment. This paper describes a polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) gradient-generating microfluidic device to immobilize the gradient of cellular adhesive Arg-Gly-Asp (RGD) peptide on poly (ethylene glycol) (PEG) hydrogel. Hydrogels are formed by exposing the mixture of PEG diacrylate (PEGDA), acryloyl-PEG-RGD, and photo-initiator with ultraviolet light. The microfluidic chip was simulated by a fluid dynamic model for the biomolecule diffusion process and gradient generation. PEG hydrogel covalently immobilized with RGD peptide gradient was fabricated in this microfluidic device by photo-polymerization. Bone marrow derived rat mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) were then cultured on the surface of RGD gradient PEG hydrogel. Cell adhesion of rat MSCs on PEG hydrogel with various RGD gradients were then qualitatively and quantitatively analyzed by immunostaining method. MSCs cultured on PEG hydrogel surface with RGD gradient showed a grated fashion for cell adhesion and spreading that was proportional to RGD concentration. It was also found that 0.107-0.143 mM was the critical RGD concentration range for MSCs maximum adhesion on PEG hydrogel.

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