Modulation of hepatocyte phenotype in vitro via chemomechanical tuning of polyelectrolyte multilayers.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Biomaterials, Volume 30, Issue 6, p.1113-20 (2009)


Animals, Biomechanical Phenomena, Cell Adhesion, Cell Shape, Cells, Cultured, Collagen, Electrolytes, Female, Hepatocytes, Phenotype, Polystyrenes, Rats, Rats, Inbred Lew, Spheroids, Cellular


It is increasingly appreciated that since cell and tissue functions are regulated by chemomechanical stimuli, precise control over such stimuli will improve the functionality of tissue models. However, due to the inherent difficulty in decoupling these cues as presented by extracellular materials, few studies have explored the independent modulation of biochemical and mechanical stimuli towards the manipulation of sustained cellular processes. Here, we demonstrate that both mechanical compliance and ligand presentation of synthetic, weak polyelectrolyte multilayers (PEMs) can be tuned independently to influence the adhesion and liver-specific functions of primary rat hepatocytes over extended in vitro culture (two weeks). These synthetic PEMs exhibited elastic moduli E ranging over 200kPa.