Triggering cell detachment from patterned electrode arrays by programmed subcellular release

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14 Scopus citations


Programmed subcellular release is an in vitro technique for the quantitative study of cell detachment. The dynamics of cell contraction are measured by releasing cells from surfaces to which they are attached with spatial and temporal control. Release of subcellular regions of cells is achieved by plating cells on an electrode array created by standard microfabrication methods. The electrodes are then biochemically functionalized with an arginine-glycine-aspartic acid (RGD)-terminated thiol. Application of a voltage pulse results in electrochemical desorption of the RGD-terminated thiols, triggering cell detachment. This method allows for the study of the full cascade of events from detachment to subsequent subcellular reorganization. Fabrication of the electrode arrays may take 1-2 d. Preparation for experiments, including surface functionalization and cell plating, can be completed in 10 h. A series of cell release experiments on one device may last several hours.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1273-1280
Number of pages8
JournalNature protocols
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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