18 December 2009
Microfabricated systems provide an excellent platform for the culture of cells, and are an extremely useful tool for the investigation of cellular responses to various stimuli. Advantages offered over traditional methods include cost-effectiveness, controllability, low volume, high resolution, and sensitivity. Both biocompatible and bio-incompatible materials have been developed for use in these applications. Biocompatible materials such as PMMA or PLGA can be used directly for cell culture. However, for bio-incompatible materials such as silicon or PDMS, additional steps need to be taken to render these materials more suitable for cell adhesion and maintenance. This review describes multiple surface modification strategies to improve the biocompatibility of MEMS materials. Basic concepts of cell-biomaterial interactions, such as protein adsorption and cell adhesion are covered. Finally, the applications of these MEMS materials in Tissue Engineering are presented.