Microfabricated tissue platforms for the study of biomechanics and tissue engineering
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After the finding that cell fate (life and death) could be controlled by geometric design in 1997, people started to analyze the influence of mechanical stimuli to cells and tissue behavior. Later research found that proper geometry control and mechanical guidance could determine cell growth, proliferation, differentiation and alignment. These findings help us gain the basic idea of how cells react to surrounding environment. However, native cells and tissues in human body grow in a complex system in three-dimensional (3D) environment with heterogenic spatial organization of living cells, biomaterials and bioactive molecules combination. Cells grow in 3D is greatly different with cells grow on top of 2D flat flask regarding the cell shape. In recent years, integrated biofabrication strategies for cells and materials patterning for the study of complex tissue and organ system have attracted tremendous interests and achieved giant development. Precisely 3D spatial control over cells, extracellular matrix (ECM) and biomaterials can help us mimic the fundamental structure and as to obtain the function of nature tissue. Building well patterned and organized 3D in vitro tissue models could help us better understand how biophysical and biochemical cues regulate cellular behavior and influence the functionality of tissue and organs.