Sequential Photoactivation of Self-Assembled Monolayers to Direct Cell Adhesion and Migration

Pradeep Bugga, Milan Mrksich*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


Dynamic substrates for cell culture control the spatial and temporal presentation of extracellular matrix ligands that interact with adherent cells. This paper reports a photoactive surface chemistry that can repeatedly activate regions of the substrate for cell adhesion, spreading, and migration. The approach uses self-assembled monolayers presenting the integrin ligand RGD that is caged with a nitrophenyl-based photoprotecting group. The group is also modified with a maltoheptaose oligosaccharide to prevent nonspecific protein adsorption and cell attachment. The peptide is uncaged when irradiated with a laser source at 405 nm on a microscope to reveal micron-size regions for single cell attachment. This method is applied to studies of gap junction-mediated communication between two neighboring cells and requires the patterning of an initial receiver cell population and then the patterning of a second sender population to give a culture wherein each pair of cells are separated by 30 μm. Finally, activation of the region between the cells permits cell-cell contact and gap junction assembly between the sender and receiver cells. This example demonstrates the broad relevance of this method to studying complex phenotypes in cell culture. ©

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5937-5943
Number of pages7
Issue number17
StatePublished - Apr 30 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Spectroscopy
  • Electrochemistry

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