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Science. 1994 Apr 29;264(5159):696-8.

Engineering cell shape and function.

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  • 1Biotechnology Processing Engineering Center, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge 02139.


An elastomeric stamp, containing defined features on the micrometer scale, was used to imprint gold surfaces with specific patterns of self-assembled monolayers of alkanethiols and, thereby, to create islands of defined shape and size that support extracellular matrix protein adsorption and cell attachment. Through this technique, it was possible to place cells in predetermined locations and arrays, separated by defined distances, and to dictate their shape. Limiting the degree of cell extension provided control over cell growth and protein secretion. This method is experimentally simple and highly adaptable. It should be useful for applications in biotechnology that require analysis of individual cells cultured at high density or repeated access to cells placed in specified locations.

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