Micro-beams with tunable stiffness and curvature for mechano-sensitive cell culture substrates
We present the complete fabrication of 3D microenvironments for single-cell culture. They are based on SiO2 cantilevers bending out-of-plane with radii as small as 20 um. By engineering the intrinsic stress of SiO2 thin films, we were able to tune the radii and the spring constant of cantilevers. Moreover micrometric Au dots were deposited onto the cantilevers, and functionalized in order to localize focal adhesions (FAs). Mouse fibroblasts were finally cultured and developed FAs on Au dots only.