1:25 PM - SM01.03.02
An Innovative Approach to Study Cell Mechanics—A Skin-Over-Liquid Platform with Compliant Microbumps Actuated by pyro-EHD Pressure
Martina Mugnano1,Romina Rega1,Emilia Oleandro1,2,Vito Pagliarulo1,Pietro Ferraro1,Simonetta Grilli1
Institute of Applied Sciences and Intelligent Systems of the National Research Council (CNR-ISASI)1,Department of Mathematics and Physics, University of Campania “L. Vanvitelli”2
Investigating the mechanical crosstalk between cells and their surrounding environment is fundamental to understand the influence of forces on cell functions and responses. In attempt to better elucidate the material – cell interaction in-vitro during adhesion process, here we report a new concept for a reliable and dynamic skin-over-liquid system for studying mechanobiology. It is made of a periodic array of highly compliant microbumps actuated through electrode-free electrohydrodynamic (EHD) pressure. These structures are highly repeatable and capable of swelling and deflating easily under a simple thermal stimulation driven by the pyroelectric effect, thus providing an innovative and easy tool that can be actively controlled at the microscale. To confirm the formation of the cytoskeleton structures after the stimulation, a fluorescence imaging system was used as a control to visualize actin filaments. The strategy here proposed portends broad applicability to investigate the correlation between the mechanical stress applied to cells by swelling these microbumps and their cytoskeleton assembly process. Moreover, the preliminary results are promising and permit us to consider skin-over-liquid platform as an easy assay for cell nanomechanic investigations in the future.
 Gennari, O., Rega, R., Mugnano, M., Oleandro, E., Mecozzi, L., Pagliarulo, V., Mazzon, E., Bramanti, A., Vettoliere, A., Granata, C. and Ferraro, P., 2019. A skin-over-liquid platform with compliant microbumps actuated by pyro-EHD pressure. NPG Asia Materials, 11(1), pp.1-8.
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 Marchesano, V., Gennari, O., Mecozzi, L., Grilli, S., & Ferraro, P. (2015). Effects of lithium niobate polarization on cell adhesion and morphology. ACS applied materials & interfaces, 7(32), 18113-18119.
 Rega, R., Gennari, O., Mecozzi, L., Grilli, S., Pagliarulo, V., & Ferraro, P. (2016). Bipolar patterning of polymer membranes by pyroelectrification. Advanced Materials, 28(3), 454-459.