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This paper describes simple, inexpensive, and potentially generic methodology for generating patterns of mammalian cells on porous scaffolds for tissue engineering using replica printing. Circular patterns (diameter: 200, 700, and 1000 microm) of human osteoblasts were transferred directly from topographically patterned agarose stamps onto porous hydroxyapatite scaffolds or onto fibronectin-coated glass slides. The use of hydrogel stamps provided a "wet", biocompatible surface and maintained the viability of cells adsorbed on stamps during the patterning process. Stamps inked once with suspensions of cells allowed the repeated patterning of substrates. Direct stamping of human osteoblasts (and, potentially other mammalian cells) can be used to control the size, spacing, and geometry of patterns of cells printed on porous tissue engineering substrates. This approach may find use in controlling the spatial invasion of scaffolds, promoting the hierarchical organization of cells, and in controlling cell-cell interactions as a step in preservation of phenotypes of cells.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





7636 - 7641


Actins, Benzimidazoles, Cells, Cultured, Culture Media, Durapatite, Humans, Hydrogels, Osteoblasts, Phenotype, Polymers, Porosity, Sepharose, Surface Properties, Tissue Engineering