The mechanical properties of a tissue are important biomarkers of its health, but the size of the microtissues limit their ability to be mechanically characterized using current testing methods. So, our goal is to prepare and test 3D microtissues (0.1-2 mm) for high-throughput biomechanical analysis (well-plate and petri dish compatible). We approached this with a two-part design.
The first part of the design entails the staging of the sample. This is done by creating different PDMS stamps. Each stamp is designed for a specific sample in mind, and then the stamp is used to stamp agarose treated well plates. Proper manipulations and mechanical testing requires the sample to be stable and remain in a consistent location, for more accurate measurements.
The second part of the design was optimization of cantilever beams for different samples, based on stiffness. By changing the thickness, width and length, the stiffness of the beam was altered to the respective stiffness of the sample being tested, which results in more effective and accurate mechanical characterization.
This design will be applicable to many different microtissue samples, but our focus is on the successful staging, and testing of tumor spheroids, tumor organoids, as well as embryonic tissues.