Topographical and physicochemical modification of material surface to enable patterning of living cells

D. R. Jung, R. Kapur*, T. Adams, K. A. Giuliano, M. Mrksich, H. G. Craighead, D. L. Taylor

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

164 Scopus citations


Precise control of the architecture of multiple cells in culture and in vivo via precise engineering of the material surface properties is described as cell patterning. Substrate patterning by control of the surface physicochemical and topographic features enables selective localization and phenotypic and genotypic control of living cells. In culture, control over spatial and temporal dynamics of cells and heterotypic interactions draws inspiration from in vivo embryogenesis and haptotaxis. Patterned arrays of single or multiple cell types in culture serve as model systems for exploration of cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions. More recently, the patterned arrays and assemblies of tissues have found practical applications in the fields of Biosensors and cell-based assays for Drug Discovery. Although the field of cell patterning has its origins early in this century, an improved understanding of cell-substrate interactions and the use of microfabrication techniques borrowed from the microelectronics industry have enabled significant recent progress. This review presents the important early discoveries and emphasizes results of recent state-of-the-art cell patterning methods. The review concludes by illustrating the growing impact of cell patterning in the areas of bioelectronic devices and cell-based assays for drug discovery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)111-154
Number of pages44
JournalCritical Reviews in Biotechnology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2001


  • Cell patterning
  • Cell-based sensors
  • Contact guidance
  • Drug discovery
  • High-content screening
  • Surface modification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Biotechnology


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