Automation of Device Fabrication consisting of Thin Scaffold Arrays for Biological Research

Cell cultures are an indispensable tool for the in vitro study of biological systems. Unfortunately, the current culturing method of cell monolayers on polystyrene plate devices is showing its limits in the emulation of the in vivo system response, mainly due to the fact that there is information loss as a consequence of the absence of extracellular matrices and therefore any 3-dimensional interactions between the cells themselves and their matrix support. Thus the development for 3D cell culture methods becomes a necessity for further advances in in vitro studies. Applicable biomaterials include biocompatible porous scaffolds that emulate the extracellular matrix and are the main subject of this thesis. This work aims to propose and develop a method of massed and repeatable / standardized production of porous scaffold devices for 3D cell cultures, while trying to eliminate as many inherent disadvantages compared to current 2D methods as possible and appeal to the ergonomic needs and requests of the end user/biologist so that current techniques, protocols and procedures for culturing and imaging can be used. In conclusion, our aim is an optimized 3D culture platform requiring minimal retraining from the user and facilitating high throughput proteomics at an acceptable cost.