(571f) Shape Memory Activation of Wrinkled Cell Culture Substrates

Mather, P. T. - Presenter, Syracuse University
Henderson, J. H., Syracuse University
Baker, R. M., Syracuse University
Yang, P., Syracuse University

In this study, we present a gold-coated shape memory polymer (SMP) system that is programmed to form wrinkles with feature sizes on the micron and sub-micron length scale under cell compatible conditions. In such a manner, surface wrinkling may offer an elegant approach to fabricating cell culture substrates with highly ordered topographies for investigating cell mechanobiology.  We find that increasing the recovered SMP strain leads to wrinkled topographies with increasing amplitude, decreasing wavelength, and increasing orientation. Analysis of the cellular response to previously wrinkled (static) substrates revealed that cell nuclear alignment increased as SMP deformation increased. Analysis of the cellular response to an actively wrinkling substrate demonstrated that cell alignment can be controlled by triggering wrinkle formation. These findings demonstrate that the amount of deformation fixed (and later recovered) in a gold-coated SMP can be used to control the resulting wrinkle characteristics and cell mechanobiological response. Extension of this investigation to wrinkle formation on SMPs featuring a spatial gradient of activation temperature has revealed novel wrinkle patterns, which will be presented qualitatively and quantitatively, along with discussion of applications in cell culture and sensing.