Honors Program


Document Type


Date of this Version



Olivera-Torres, A. 2021. Two-dimensional & Three-dimensional Microarray Cell Culture using Elastomeric Assembly Substrates. Undergraduate Honors Thesis. University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


Copyright Angel Olivera-Torres 2021.


Tissue engineering and regenerative medicine represent the collection of all engineering disciplines brought together for the common goal of developing novel ways of growing tissues and organs in the laboratory. Efforts have made it possible to replicate or induce growth of 2D structures in the human body like skin, but the clinical need for on-demand solid organs has yet to be met due to lack of understanding of the variables responsible for organogenesis. Cell-colony heterogeneity, 3D-cellular architecture, bioactive molecules, and crosstalk communication between parenchymal cell populations need to be further investigated, and high-throughput technologies can rapidly increase the rate at which screening assays can be conducted and analyzed. Having more comprehensive data that can be disseminated in a matter of minutes poses a great advantage for developing more efficacious drug treatments and disease models, as well as more functionalized organ models that can be implanted. Many high-throughput micro-array systems have been engineered to investigate how cellular micro-environments and cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions contribute to key physiological events, and how we can manipulate them to induce the correct tissue formation and function in vivo. Here we present a 2D and 3D micro-array cell culture paradigm using elastomeric assembly substrates with micro-droplet deposition via microfluidic-aerosol spraying. Production of large area living cell micro-arrays in three dimensions is possible through hydrogel photo-encapsulation of cells, producing tunable porous matrices that can help elucidate key mechano-transduction pathways influencing cell adhesion, proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis in many tissue-engineering sub-fields like organogenesis, drug-screening, and connective tissue diseases.