Positive and negative bioimprinted polymeric substrates: New platforms for cell culture

I. Mutreja, T. B.F. Woodfield, S. Sperling, V. Nock, J. J. Evans, M. M. Alkaisi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Bioimprinting, which involves capturing cell morphological details into a polymer matrix, provides a new class of patterned surfaces which opens an opportunity to investigate how cells respond to their own signatures and may introduce possibilities for regulating their behaviour. In this study, phenotypic details of human nasal chondrocytes (HNCs) were replicated in soft polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) mould resulting in inverse replicas of cells, which have been termed here as 'negative bioimprint'. For the first time, the information from this negative bioimprint was then transferred into anotherPDMSlayer resulting in surfaces which resemble cell morphology and were called 'positive bioimprints'. Soft lithography was used to transfer these details from PDMSinto different polymers like polystyrene, tissue culture polystyrene and clinically used block co-polymer poly (ethylene glycol) terephthalate-poly (butylene terephthalate) (PEGT-PBT). Results obtained from surface characterization confirmed that fine details of cells were successfully replicated from cells to different polymer matrices without any significant loss of information during the different steps of pattern transfer. HNCs seeded on different polymer surfaces with positive and negative bioimprints exhibited distinct behaviour. Cells cultured on positive bioimprints were more spread out and displayed high levels of proliferation compared to those on negative bioimprints, where cells were more compact with lower proliferation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number025002
Issue number2
StatePublished - 8 Apr 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Bioimprint
  • Cell response
  • Chondrocytes
  • Negative and positive bioimprint
  • Soft lithography


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