Myoblast alignment on 2D wavy patterns: Dependence on feature characteristics and cell-cell interaction

Michael S. Grigola, Casey L. Dyck, Derin S. Babacan, Danielle N. Joaquin, K. Jimmy Hsia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this study, we investigate the effects of micron-scale surface patterns on the alignment of individual cells and groups of cells. Using a simple replication molding process we produce a number of micron-scale periodic wavy patterns with different pitch and depth. We observe C2C12 cells as they grow to confluence on these patterns and find that, for some geometries, cell-cell interaction leads to global alignment in a confluent culture when individual cells would not align on the same pattern. Three types of alignment behavior are thus defined: no alignment, immediate alignment, and alignment upon confluence. To further characterize this response, we introduce a non-dimensional parameter that describes the aligning power of a periodic pattern based on its geometry. The three types of alignment behavior can be distinguished by the value of the alignment parameter, and we identify values at which the transitions in alignment behavior occur. Applying this parameter to data from the current and several earlier studies reveals that the parameter successfully describes substrate aligning power over a wide range of length scales for both wavy and grooved features.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1617-1626
Number of pages10
JournalBiotechnology and bioengineering
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2014


  • C2C12
  • Cell alignment
  • Cell-cell interaction
  • Cell-matrix interaction
  • Contact guidance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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