In this report, we show how the in vitro model of mechanically injured confluent monolayers of cultured mammalian cells, consisting in denudation by gentle scraping of areas in the monolayer, can be extended to obtain patterned cell cultures without using preadded attaching matrices. This work was done with a sinusoidal endothelial liver cell line. Patterns for cell growth were drawn in confluent monolayers by cell detaching with the aid of pipette tips followed by reincubation of the culture. In one or some d, acellular patterns were closed by cell migration and proliferation. For unveiling the pattern formed by migration and cell duplication, an enzymatic digestion with trypsin–collagenase solution was applied; after some min, only the migrating and younger cells filling the previous acellular pattern remained attached to the dish, and the now cellular pattern was clearly depicted. After stopping and recovering from the enzymatic treatment, the culture was ready for starting studies such as those related to migration, proliferation, cell–cell interactions. This method allows us to create simple and complex patterns, does not require preparation of the dishes with attaching matrices, and extracellular matrices in acellular areas are absent because of the enzymatic treatment, thus, potentially having many applications in cell culture techniques.
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Vol. 40 • No. 8