Macro-to-Micro Interface for the Control of Cellular Organization

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Journal of Microelectromechanical Systems, Volume 23, p.391–397 (2014)



The spatial organization of cellular communities plays a fundamental role in determining intercellular communication and emergent behavior. Few tools, however, exist to modulate tissue organization at the scale of individual cells, particularly in the case of dynamic manipulation. Micromechanical reconfigurable culture achieves dynamic control of tissue organization by culturing adherent cells on microfabricated plates that can be shifted to reorganize the arrangement of the cells. Although biological studies using this approach have been previously reported, this paper focuses on the engineering of the device, including the mechanism for translating manual manipulation to precise microscale position control, fault-tolerant design for manufacture, and the synthetic-to-living interface.