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Title page for ETD etd-08182008-153315

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Addae-Mensah, Kweku Amissah
URN etd-08182008-153315
Title A microfabricated microcantilever array: A platform for investigation of cellular biomechanics and microforces in vitro
Degree PhD
Department Biomedical Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
John P. Wikswo Committee Chair
Franz J. Baudenbacher Committee Member
Kevin K. Parker Committee Member
Michael I. Miga Committee Member
Paul E. Moore Committee Member
  • microcontact printing labeling techniques
  • quantum dots
  • mesengenic process
  • SU-8
  • PDMS
  • polydimethylsiloxane
  • salinization
  • stress fiber like structures
  • SFLS
  • fluorescene recovery after photobleaching
  • FRAP
  • subcelluar laser ablation
  • SLA
  • hippocampal neurons
  • two dimensional fast fourier transform
  • 2D-FFT
  • bandpass filtering
  • measurement techniques
  • scotch tape test
  • blister test
  • adhesion strength
  • polymer composite structures
  • cell-cell adhesion
  • slow cardiac calcium waves
  • volumetric strain
  • volumetric distortion
  • divergence
  • curl
  • Otsu threshold
  • dry reactive ion etching
  • DRIE
  • reactive ion etching
  • RIE
  • softh lithography
  • projection lithography
  • contact lithography
  • e-beam lithography
  • HASM
  • human airway smooth muscle
Date of Defense 2008-08-12
Availability unrestricted
Living cells and tissues experience mechanical forces in their physiological environments that are known to affect many cellular processes. Also of importance are the mechanical properties of cells, as well as the microforces generated by cellular processes in their microenvironments. The difficulty associated with studying these phenomena in vivo has led to alternatives such as using in vitro models. The need for experimental techniques for investigating cellular biomechanics and mechanobiology in vitro has fueled an evolution in the technology used in these studies. Particularly noteworthy are some of the new biomicroelectromechanical systems (BioMEMs) devices and techniques.

This study describes cellular micromechanical techniques and methods that have been developed for extit{in vitro} studies. Improvements made to a passive array of vertical microcantilevers, for detecting cellular microforces and studying in vitro cell mechanics are presented. A new technique that uses poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) as a lift-off agent to attach structures to the microcantilevers, thereby providing a means to actively move the microcantilevers is introduced. The use of the improved microcantilever array platform as a potential assay for cardiac myofibrillogenesis will also be described.

Finally the use of cryogenic etching techniques for making master molds for the microcantilever arrays is described, and subsequent arrays are used to investigate the biological responses of mesenchymal stem cells to forces generated by post deflections.

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