The facile generation of two-dimensional stiffness maps in durotactic cell platforms through thickness projections of three-dimensional submerged topography

Methods Cell Biol. 2014;121:49-60. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-800281-0.00004-X.


An innovative platform that aims to facilitate studies of how adherent cells migrate in response to rigidity gradients or durotaxis has been developed. Soft polyacrylamide gel-based cell culture scaffolds are used to fabricate flat surfaces containing elasticity gradients through changes in the underlying patterned features. Moreover, this inert gel surface supports long-term cell viability and offers a tunable stiffness. By manipulating the thickness of the gel substrate through the embedded patterns, this system is also capable of directing collective cell patterning.

Keywords: Cell migration; Durotaxis; Mechanosensing; Scaffolds.

MeSH terms

  • 3T3 Cells
  • Acrylic Resins
  • Animals
  • Cell Adhesion / physiology
  • Cell Communication / physiology*
  • Cell Culture Techniques
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Movement / physiology*
  • Coated Materials, Biocompatible*
  • Elasticity
  • Extracellular Matrix
  • Extracellular Matrix Proteins
  • Fibroblasts / physiology
  • Hep G2 Cells
  • Humans
  • MCF-7 Cells
  • Mice
  • Stress, Mechanical
  • Surface Properties


  • Acrylic Resins
  • Coated Materials, Biocompatible
  • Extracellular Matrix Proteins
  • polyacrylamide gels