Proceedings of the
9th International Conference of Asian Society for Precision Engineering and Nanotechnology (ASPEN2022)
15 – 18 November 2022, Singapore

Inkjet Printing-Facilitated Micropatterned Multicellular Structure Generation

Yuxuan Tang1,2, Yucheng Huo2, Jeffrey Nielsen3, Christie Dudenhoefer3 and Changjin Huang1,2,a

1HP-NTU Digital Manufacturing Corporate Lab, 65 Nanyang Avenue, Singapore 637460, Singapore

2School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, 50 Nanyang Avenue, Singapore 639798, Singapore

3HP Inc., 1501 Page Mill Road, Palo Alto, CA 94304, United States


Micropatterned multicellular structures (e.g., cell microarrays, strips and spheroids) are important in vitro systems for high-throughput biological and biomedical assays in a well-controlled manner, such as automated gene editing and drug screening, cardiomyocyte maturation assay, cell migration assay, etc. To form micropatterned multicellular structures, special substrate surface chemistry treatments and/or geometric designs are needed in order to confine cells within the desired patterns. Existing approaches mainly rely on either contact-printing of extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins on non-cell-adhesive substrates or confining cells into pre-formed microwell arrays. Both approaches involve tedious and time-consuming microfabrication processes. In this study, we take advantage of inkjet printing technology to generate cell microarrays on hydrogel substrates. The evolution of the multicellular structures is systematically characterized using optical microscopy. Our new strategy significantly reduces the turnaround time and provides great flexibility to generate micropatterned multicellular structures, which will greatly benefit biological and biomedical communities.

Keywords: Inkjet printing, Multicellular structures, Micropatterns

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