Repository logo

Revealing the dependence of cell spreading kinetics on its spreading morphology using microcontact printed fibronectin patterns.



Change log


Huang, Cheng-Kuang 


Since the dawn of in vitro cell cultures, how cells interact and proliferate within a given external environment has always been an important issue in the study of cell biology. It is now well known that mammalian cells typically exhibit a three-phase sigmoid spreading on encountering a substrate. To further this understanding, we examined the influence of cell shape towards the second rapid expansion phase of spreading. Specifically, 3T3 fibroblasts were seeded onto silicon elastomer films made from polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), and micro-contact printed with fibronectin stripes of various dimensions. PDMS is adopted in our study for its biocompatibility, its ease in producing very smooth surfaces, and in the fabrication of micro-contact printing stamps. The substrate patterns are compared with respect to their influence on cell spreading over time. Our studies reveal, during the early rapid expansion phase, 3T3 fibroblasts are found to spread radially following a t≃¹·⁸ law; meanwhile, they proliferated in a lengthwise fashion on the striped patterns, following a t≃¹ law. We account for the observed differences in kinetics through a simple geometric analysis which predicted similar trends. In particular, a t² law for radial spreading cells, and a t¹ law for lengthwise spreading cells.



3T3 Cells, Actins, Animals, Anisotropy, Biocompatible Materials, Cell Proliferation, Dimethylpolysiloxanes, Fibroblasts, Fibronectins, Green Fluorescent Proteins, Image Processing, Computer-Assisted, Kinetics, Mice, Microscopy, Fluorescence, Surface Properties

Journal Title

J R Soc Interface

Conference Name

Journal ISSN


Volume Title



The Royal Society
C-K. Huang thank the Ministry of Education in Taiwan, and the Cambridge Overseas Trust for funding his PhD.