Many researchers have utilized hydrogels as substrates for cell attachment. The stiffness of these substrates has been found to influence the cellular behavior such as morphology, proliferation, growth and differentiation. Lo et al. deformed polyacrylamide substrates with a blunted microneedle and observed the movement of NIH 3T3 fibroblasts. In both pulling and pushing, the cells reversed their direction and moved away from the needle. This shows that cellular behavior is also affected by stretching the underlying substrates. In a previous study, Lin et al. have demonstrated the ability to contract DNA-crosslinked polyacrylamide hydrogels (‘DNA gels’ in short) by addition of crosslinks. Jiang et al. have utilized these DNA gels as substrates to observe the cellular responses of L929 and GFP fibroblasts to both static and dynamic substrate compliances.

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