Widefield surface plasmon resonance (WSPR) microscopy provides high resolution imaging of interfacial interactions. We report the application of the WSPR imaging system in the study of the interaction between keratinocytes and liquid crystals (LC). Imaging of fixed keratinocytes cultured on gold coated surface plasmon substrates functionalized with a thin film of liquid crystals was performed in air using a 1.45NA objective based system. Focal adhesion of the cells adhered to glass and LC were further studied using immunofluorescence staining of the vinculin. The imaging system was also simulated with 2×2 scattering matrix to investigate the optical reflection of the resonant plasmonic wave via the glass/gold/cell and glass/gold/LC/cell layers. WSPR imaging indicated that keratinocytes are less spread and formed distinct topography of cell-liquid crystal couplings when cultured on liquid crystal coated substrates. The simulation indicates that glass/LC shifted the surface plasmon excitation angle to 75.39° as compared to glass/air interface at 44°. The WSPR microcopy reveals that the cells remodelled their topography of adhesion at different interfaces.
Cell migration is a key contributor to wound repair. This study presents findings indicating that the liquid crystal based cell traction force transducer (LCTFT) system can be used in conjunction with a bespoke cell traction force mapping (CTFM) software to monitor cell/surface traction forces from quiescent state in real time. In this study, time-lapse photo microscopy allowed cell induced deformations in liquid crystal coated substrates to be monitored and analyzed. The results indicated that the system could be used to monitor the generation of cell/surface forces in an initially quiescent cell, as it migrated over the culture substrate, via multiple points of contact between the cell and the surface. Future application of this system is the real-time assaying of the pharmacological effects of cytokines on the mechanics of cell migration.
Bacterial cellulose (BC)/acrylic acid (AA) hydrogel has successfully been investigated as a wound dressing for partial-thickness burn wound. It is also a promising biomaterial cell carrier because it bears some resemblance to the natural soft tissue. This study assessed its ability to deliver human epidermal keratinocytes (EK) and dermal fibroblasts (DF) for the treatment of full-thickness skin lesions. In vitro studies demonstrated that BC/AA hydrogel had excellent cell attachment, maintained cell viability with limited migration, and allowed cell transfer. In vivo wound closure, histological, immunohistochemistry, and transmission electron microscopy evaluation revealed that hydrogel alone (HA) and hydrogel with cells (HC) accelerated wound healing compared to the untreated controls. Gross appearance and Masson's trichrome staining indicated that HC was better than HA. This study suggests the potential application of BC/AA hydrogel with dual functions, as a cell carrier and wound dressing, to promote full-thickness wound healing.