Mechanical Deformation of Cultured Cells with Hydrogels
Polyacrylamide hydrogels can be used to culture cells in a range of stiffness that can closer mimic physiological environments. Changes in environmental stiffness have been documented in conditions such as fibrosis, cancer, and aging. In this chapter, we describe a method in which we pour gels directly into multiwell plates using a plastic support that covalently binds to the polymerizing hydrogel. The hydrogel is then crosslinked to calfskin collagen using a crosslinker. The result is a thick hydrogel, scalable to any size plate, which covers the entire surface of the well with no edge effects. The gels can be routinely assembled and are easily reproducible. These scaffolds are used as in vitro models to study fibroblast reaction to variation in environmental stiffness.
Key wordsHydrogels Fibroblasts Polyacrylamide Stiffness Multiwell Cell culture
C.A.W. is supported by NIH award T32AR007197.
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