Direct patterning of mammalian cells onto porous tissue engineering substrates using agarose stamps

Biomaterials. 2005 Dec;26(36):7636-41. doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2005.05.001.


This paper describes simple, inexpensive, and potentially generic methodology for generating patterns of mammalian cells on porous scaffolds for tissue engineering using replica printing. Circular patterns (diameter: 200, 700, and 1000 microm) of human osteoblasts were transferred directly from topographically patterned agarose stamps onto porous hydroxyapatite scaffolds or onto fibronectin-coated glass slides. The use of hydrogel stamps provided a "wet", biocompatible surface and maintained the viability of cells adsorbed on stamps during the patterning process. Stamps inked once with suspensions of cells allowed the repeated patterning of substrates. Direct stamping of human osteoblasts (and, potentially other mammalian cells) can be used to control the size, spacing, and geometry of patterns of cells printed on porous tissue engineering substrates. This approach may find use in controlling the spatial invasion of scaffolds, promoting the hierarchical organization of cells, and in controlling cell-cell interactions as a step in preservation of phenotypes of cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Actins / chemistry
  • Benzimidazoles / pharmacology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Culture Media / pharmacology
  • Durapatite / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Hydrogels
  • Osteoblasts / cytology*
  • Osteoblasts / metabolism
  • Phenotype
  • Polymers / chemistry
  • Porosity
  • Sepharose / chemistry*
  • Sepharose / pharmacology*
  • Surface Properties
  • Tissue Engineering / instrumentation*
  • Tissue Engineering / methods*


  • Actins
  • Benzimidazoles
  • Culture Media
  • Hydrogels
  • Polymers
  • Sepharose
  • Durapatite
  • bisbenzimide ethoxide trihydrochloride