From molecule to man: integrating molecular biology with whole organ physiology in studying respiratory disease.
As we aim towards enhancing our knowledge of complex cell behaviors and developing intricate cell-based devices and improved therapeutics, it becomes imperative that we be able to control and manipulate the spatial localization of cells. Here we have developed a novel strategy to pattern cells using a hyaluronic acid hydrogel material and photocaged RGDS (Arg-Gly-Asp-Ser) peptides. In this report, we discuss the chemical synthesis and photoactive properties of the caged peptides as well as the subsequent binding of these peptides to our hydrogel base. We further demonstrate the ability of this modified hydrogel material to pattern fibroblast cells on the micron scale using near-UV light exposure through a patterned photomask to selectively switch areas of the hydrogel surface from cell non-adhesive to cell adhesive. The cells are found to adhere and proliferate along the developed line patterns for at least 2.5 days, demonstrating significantly enhanced pattern longevity in comparison with previously reported studies.