Bioengineering methods for analysis of cells in vitro

Gregory H. Underhill, Galie Peter, Christopher S. Chen, Sangeeta N. Bhatia

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Efforts in the interdisciplinary field of bioengineering have led to innovative methods for investigating the complexities of cell responses in vitro. These approaches have emphasized the reduction of complex multicomponent cellular microenvironments into distinct individual signals as a means to both (a) better construct mimics of in vivo microenvironments and (b) better deconstruct microenvironments to study them. Microtechnology tools, together with advances in biomaterials, have been fundamental to this progress by enabling the tightly controlled presentation of environmental cues and the improved systematic analysis of cellular perturbations. In this review, we describe bioengineering approaches for controlling and measuring cell-environmental interactions in vitro, including strategies for high-throughput analysis. We also describe the mechanistic insights gained by the use of these novel tools, with associated applications ranging from fundamental biological studies, in vitro modeling of in vivo processes, and cell-based therapies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)385-410
Number of pages26
JournalAnnual review of cell and developmental biology
Volume28
DOIs
StatePublished - 2012

Keywords

  • biomaterial
  • extracellular matrix
  • high-throughput
  • mechanobiology
  • microfabrication

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology

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