A Method for Determining the Effect of Stiffness and Stretch on Cell Phenotype
In order to elucidate the interrelated effects of mechanical stimuli on cell phenotype in vitro, we developed a method for culturing cells at various levels of substrate stiffness and equibiaxial stretch. Polydimethylsiloxane was polymerized on flexible silicone membranes at different ratios of elastomer base to crosslinker to modulate stiffness. The membranes were stretched using a vacuum-driven system. Image analysis verified the uniformity of the strain field applied to the cells. Microscopic analysis of stretched and static samples demonstrated cell viability.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Major Qualifying Project
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