The primary goal of this work is to establish a robust, repeatable method for growing forebrain nerve cells in a parallel manner by stretching them using a microfabricated PDMS beam array and printing arrays of neurons. The highly compliant, transparent, biocompatible PDMS micro beam array may offer a method for more rapid throughput in cell and protein mechanics force measurement experiments with sensitivities necessary for highly compliant structures such as axons. This work has two endpoints. One is to use a neural array as an experimental testbed for investigating neuronal cell growth hypotheses. The other endpoint is to build a neuronal-based, biosensor device capable of acting as a cell-based sensor. We present preliminary results for microbeams attaching to nerve cells. The attachment ratio the life-length and the axon lengths of the chick forebrain cells on microprinted spots will also be compared with an equivalent protein coated area of cells.

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