CytoSoft® Rigidity Plates
Why Substrate Stiffness Matters
The rigidity (stiffness) of the substrate to which cells adhere can have a profound effect on cell propagation, differentiation, lineage specification, gene expression, morphology, self-renewal, pluripotency and migration.
The Reason Behind CytoSoft® Plates
Cells are able to sense and respond to mechanical stimuli in a process called mechanotransduction. Various areas throughout the body have significantly different degrees of matrix stiffness. For example, the brain tissue is very soft (~0.2 kPa), whereas cartilage and bone tissue is very firm (<64 kPa). Cells receive critical information simply from the stiffness of the surrounding matrix.
Tissue culture plasticware has an elastic modulus of ~1x107 whereas the tissues of our body range between 0.2-64 kPa. CytoSoft® plates have a thin layer of silicone with a stiffness between 0.2-64 kPa, allowing you to grow your cells on a physiologically relevant matrix.
Discovering the Optimal Substrate Stiffness
The CytoSoft® Discovery Kit is the first step in discovering the optimal substrate stiffness for your cells.
The Discovery Kit comes with a 7-pack of 6-well plates covering the entire physiological range of stiffness, including 0.2, 0.5, 2, 8, 16, 32 and 64 kPa.
Seed your cells across the entire range of stiffness and note differences in your cells, as seen in the experiment to the right.
Next, use the 5-pack of 6-well plates of the specific stiffness(es) that you want to further investigate (ie. 0.2 kPa and 8 kPa).
Generating Publication Quality Results
Once the optimal stiffness have been identified and investigated on the 6-well plates, begin using the 24 and 96-well Imaging plates.
The Imaging plates have a glass bottom, a black frame, and thinner silicone hydrogels for high resolution, publication quality imaging (as seen to the right).