We have developed a new method that enables agar microstructures to be used to cultivate cells and that allows cell network patterns to be controlled. The method makes use of non-contact three-dimensional photo-thermal etching with a 1480 nm infrared focused laser beam, which is strongly absorbed by water and agar gel, to form the shapes of agar microstructures. It allows microstructures to be easily formed in an agar layer within a few minutes, with cell-culture holes formed by the spot heating of a 100 mW laser and tunnels by the tracing of a 100 μm s-1, 40 mW laser. We cultivated rat cardiac myocytes in adjacent microstructures and observed synchronized beating in them 90 min after they had made physical contact. Our results indicate that the system can make and use microstructures for cell-network cultivation in a minimal amount of time without any expensive microfabrication facilities or complicated procedures.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biomedical Engineering