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We report the establishment of a library of micromolded elastomeric micropost arrays to modulate substrate rigidity independently of effects on adhesive and other material surface properties. We demonstrated that micropost rigidity impacts cell morphology, focal adhesions, cytoskeletal contractility and stem cell differentiation. Furthermore, early changes(More)
OBJECTIVE The greater acceptance of acupuncture by healthcare professionals and the public has increased the importance of addressing public concern about its safety. Of particular concern has been the potential for transmission of infectious disease and organ and tissue injury, as well as the training and professional standards of acupuncture(More)
Physical factors in the local cellular microenvironment, including cell shape and geometry, matrix mechanics, external mechanical forces, and nanotopographical features of the extracellular matrix, can all have strong influences on regulating stem cell fate. Stem cells sense and respond to these insoluble biophysical signals through integrin-mediated(More)
Focal adhesions mediate force transfer between ECM-integrin complexes and the cytoskeleton. Although vinculin has been implicated in force transmission, few direct measurements have been made, and there is little mechanistic insight. Using vinculin-null cells expressing vinculin mutants, we demonstrate that vinculin is not required for transmission of(More)
Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) have great potentials for future cell-based therapeutics. However, their mechanosensitivity to biophysical signals from the cellular microenvironment is not well characterized. Here we introduced an effective microfabrication strategy for accurate control and patterning of nanoroughness on glass surfaces. Our results(More)
Cells from many different tissues sense the stiffness and spatial patterning of their microenvironment to modulate their shape and cortical stiffness. It is currently unknown how substrate stiffness, cell shape, and cell stiffness modulate or interact with one another. Here, we use microcontact printing and microfabricated arrays of elastomeric posts to(More)
External forces are increasingly recognized as major regulators of cellular structure and function, yet the underlying mechanism by which cells sense forces and transduce them into intracellular biochemical signals and behavioral responses ('mechanotransduction') is largely undetermined. To aid in the mechanistic study of mechanotransduction, herein we(More)
We present an experimental study of Ogston-like sieving process of rodlike DNA in patterned periodic nanofluidic filter arrays. The electrophoretic motion of DNA through the array is described as a biased Brownian motion overcoming periodically modulated free-energy landscape. A kinetic model, constructed based on the equilibrium partitioning theory and the(More)
Research on human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) has attracted much attention given their great potential for tissue regenerative therapy and fundamental developmental biology studies. Yet, there is still limited understanding of how mechanical signals in the local cellular microenvironment of hESCs regulate their fate decisions. Here, we applied a(More)
We describe the use of a microfabricated cell culture substrate, consisting of a uniform array of closely spaced, vertical, elastomeric microposts, to study the effects of substrate rigidity on cell function. Elastomeric micropost substrates are micromolded from silicon masters comprised of microposts of different heights to yield substrates of different(More)