This study presents the development of a micro-tug tissue platform aimed at improving the study of tissue morphogenesis. The research focused on fabricating high-throughput devices for tissue construction and integrating magnetically responsive particles to control stress and manipulate tissue morphogenesis. The devices enable the simulation of various mechanical environments, such as hypertension in cardiomyocytes.

We successfully fabricated Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) micro-tug devices and their iron-containing variants, along with a magnetic field-generating device to apply variable mechanical stresses. The fabrication process transitioned from a time-consuming hydrogel casting method to a more efficient system using 3D print models and surface chemistry on PDMS replicas.

Through imaging and analysis, we quantified tissue parameters, gaining insights into tissue compaction, growth factor effects, and micro-pillar deflection. We also studied the role of transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β) in enhancing tissue contractility and focal adhesion.

The study underscores the potential of this platform in advancing our understanding of tissue morphogenesis and the mechanical forces that modulate it, opening avenues for future engineering improvements and more comprehensive research.

Document Type

Final Report

Author's School

McKelvey School of Engineering

Author's Department

Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Class Name

Mechanical Engineering and Material Sciences Independent Study

Date of Submission