Directing cell migration using micropatterned and dynamically adhesive polymer brushes.
2415 - 2422
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Micropatterning techniques, such as photolithography and microcontact printing, provide robust tools for controlling the adhesive interactions between cells and their extracellular environment. However, the ability to modify these interactions in real time and examine dynamic cellular responses remains a significant challenge. Here we describe a novel strategy to create dynamically adhesive, micropatterned substrates, which afford precise control of cell adhesion and migration over both space and time. Specific functionalization of micropatterned poly(ethylene glycol methacrylate) (POEGMA) brushes with synthetic peptides, containing the integrin-binding arginine-glycine-aspartic acid (RGD) motif, was achieved using thiol-yne coupling reactions. RGD activation of POEGMA brushes promoted fibroblast adhesion, spreading and migration into previously non-adhesive areas, and migration speed could be tuned by adjusting the surface ligand density. We propose that this technique is a robust strategy for creating dynamically adhesive biomaterial surfaces and a useful assay for studying cell migration.