Cell patterning on biological gels via cell spraying through a mask

Yaakov Nahmias, Abhinav Arneja, Theodore T. Tower, Michael J. Renn, David J. Odde*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


We present an easily applicable and inexpensive method for patterning cells on arbitrary surfaces including biological gels with little loss of viability or function. Single-cell suspensions of human umbilical vein endothelial cells and NIH 3T3 fibroblasts were sprayed with an off-the-shelf airbrush through a mask to create 100-μm scale patterns on collagen gels. Three-dimensional patterns were created by layering a collagen gel on top of the first pattern and patterning the top gel. Coculture of rat hepatocytes with NIH 3T3 patterns on collagen gels resulted in localized increased activity of cytochrome P-450 along the pattern. These results suggest that cell spraying is a useful tool for the study of heterotypic cellular interactions and tissue-engineering applications on biologically relevant matrices, and for the creation of three-dimensional cell patterns in vitro.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)701-708
Number of pages8
JournalTissue Engineering
Issue number5-6
StatePublished - May 2005
Externally publishedYes


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