Cell alignment by underlying topographical cues has been shown to affect important biological processes such as differentiation and functional maturation in vitro. However, the routine use of cell culture substrates with micro/nano-topographies is currently hampered by the high cost and specialized facilities required to produce these substrates. Here we present commercially available optical media as substrates for aligning cells in culture. These optical media, including CD-R, DVD-R and optical grating, allow different cell types to attach, align and grow on them. This cytoskeletal reorganization enhanced the differentiation of cardiac (H9C2), and skeletal muscle (C2C12) cell lines. These low-cost commercially available optical media can serve as scalable substrates for research or drug safety screening applications.

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