Patterned cell culturing is one of the most useful techniques for understanding the interaction between geometric conditions surrounding cells and their behaviors. The authors previously proposed a simple method for cell patterning with an agarose gel microstructure fabricated by microcasting with a degassed polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) mold. Although the vacuum pressure produced from the degassed PDMS can drive a highly viscous agarose solution, the influence of solution viscosity on the casting process is unknown. This study investigated the influences of micro-channel dimensions or solution viscosity on the flow of the solution in a micro-channel of a PDMS mold by both experiments and numerical simulation. It was found experimentally that the degassed PDMS mold was able to drive a solution with a viscosity under 575 mPa s. A simulation model was developed which can well estimate the flow rate in various dimensions of micro-channels. Cross-linked albumin has low viscosity (1 mPa s) in aqueous solution and can undergo a one-way dehydration process from solution to solid that produces cellular repellency after dehydration. A microstructure of cross-linked albumin was fabricated on a cell culture dish by the microcasting method. After cells were seeded and cultivated on the cell culture dish with the microstructure for 7 days, the cellular pattern of mouse skeletal myoblast cell line C2C12 was observed. The microcasting with cross-linked albumin solution enables preparation of patterned cell culture systems more quickly in comparison with the previous agarose gel casting, which requires a gelation process before the dehydration process.
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