Cell sheet technology using UpCell plates is a modern tool that enables the rapid creation of a single-layered cells without using extracellular matrix enzymatic digestion. Although this technique has the advantage of maintaining a sheet of cells without needing artificial scaffolds, these cell sheets remain extremely fragile. Collagen, the most abundant extracellular matrix component, is an attractive candidate for modulating tissue mechanical properties given its tunable property. In this study, we demonstrated rapid mechanical property augmentation of human dermal fibroblast cell sheets after incubation with bovine type I collagen for 24 hours on UpCell plates. We showed that treatment with collagen resulted in increased collagen I incorporation within the cell sheet without affecting cell morphology, cell type, or cell sheet quality. Atomic force microscopy measurements for controls, and cell sheets that received 50g/mL and 100g/mL collagen I treatments revealed an average Young's modulus of their respective intercellular regions: 6.6±1.0, 14.4±6.6, and 19.8±3.8 kPa during the loading condition, and 10.3±4.7, 11.7±2.2, and 18.1±3.4 kPa during the unloading condition. This methodology of rapid mechanical property augmentation of a cell sheet has a potential impact on cell sheet technology by improving the ease of construct manipulation, enabling new translational tissue engineering applications.
View details for DOI 10.1089/ten.TEA.2020.0128
View details for PubMedID 32703108