Deciphering cellular morphology and biocompatibility using polymer microarrays

Salvatore Pernagallo, Asier Unciti-Broceta, Juan José Díaz-Mochón, Mark Bradley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A quantitative and qualitative analysis of cellular adhesion, morphology and viability is essential in understanding and designing biomaterials such as those involved in implant surfaces or as tissue-engineering scaffolds. As a means to simultaneously perform these studies in a high-throughput (HT) manner, we report a normalized protocol which allows the rapid analysis of a large number of potential cell binding substrates using polymer microarrays and high-content fluorescence microscopy. The method was successfully applied to the discovery of optimal polymer substrates from a 214-member polyurethane library with mouse fibroblast cells (L929), as well as simultaneous evaluation of cell viability and cellular morphology. Analysis demonstrated high biocompatibility of the binding polymers and permitted the identification of several different cellular morphologies, showing that specific polymer interactions may provoke changes in cell shape. In addition, SAR studies showed a clear correspondence between cellular adhesion and polymer structure. The approach can be utilized to perform multiple experiments (up to 1024 single experiments per slide) in a highly reproducible manner, leading to the generation of vast amounts of data in a short time period (48-72 h) while reducing dramatically the quantities of polymers, reagents and cells used.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)034112
JournalBiomedical Materials
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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