Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Vamsi Yadavalli


Challenges in the development of successful cell therapies involve engineering and control of cues to regulate the balance between differentiation and self-renewal. However, the complexity of architecture and function make this an intriguing problem in the context of forming functional connections. Here we present the design and fabrication of microstructured scaffolds that present a biomimetic framework along which neural cell lines can organize into oriented constructs. Specifically, we show microfabricated non-linear architectures that promote cellular fate related to propagation of human neuroblastoma cells and directed differentiation towards neurons. By mimicking biological networks that allow for spreading of the cells instead of confining them in a groove or a well, a nonlinear configuration can promote a relaxed, self-supportive cell niche. The tailoring of non-homogeneous adhesion sites via the geometry and the compliance and roughness of the substrate allows a versatile microenvironment that promotes propagation and neuronal differentiation.


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Available for download on Sunday, August 18, 2019

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