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Sep 04, 2015
Cell studies at the single-cell level are becoming more and more critical for understanding the complex biological processes. Here, we present an optimization study investigating the positioning of single cells using micromolding in capillaries technology coupled with the cytophobic biomaterial poly (2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate) (poly (HEMA)). As a cytophobic biomaterial, poly (HEMA) was used to inhibit cells, whereas the glass was used as the substrate to provide a cell adhesive background. The poly (HEMA) chemical barrier was obtained using micromolding in capillaries, and the microchannel networks used for capillarity were easily achieved by reversibly bonding the polydimethylsiloxane mold and the glass. Finally, discrete cell adhesion regions were presented on the glass surface. This method is facile and low cost, and the reagents are commercially available. We validated the cytophobic abilities of the poly (HEMA), optimized the channel parameters for higher quality and more stable poly (HEMA) patterns by investigating the effects of changing the aspect ratio and the width of the microchannel on the poly (HEMA) grid pattern, and improved the single-cell occupancy by optimizing the dimensions of the cell adhesion regions.