Mammalian Cell Culture


The interaction of mammalian cells with materials is of increasing importance to fields such as tissue engineering, drug delivery, and the development of new assays. Primary human cell lines are rapidly replacing immortalized cancer lines as the cells of choice in biomaterial characterization. Nevertheless, cancer lines represent an important means for testing new chemotherapeutic-carrying particles. Biomaterials are proving to be more than passive interfaces for cell growth as new polymers are being developed to actively maintain embryonic stem cells at an undifferentiated state, negating the need for complicated feeder cell layers.


Our lab features a wide array of different cell lines used for characterizing both biomaterials and drug delivery particles. We have extensive experience with the epithelial cancer lines HT-29, HeLa, A431, and MDA-MB-231/GFP. Human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) are a useful platform for studying cell spreading and behavior on CVDcoated surfaces. Mouse fibroblast line NIH3T3 provides us with a simple and resilient mammalian cell type for initial testing of new biomaterials and platforms. We perform a wide variety of imaging techniques to examine the morphology of our cells (including immunofluorescence and SEM), XTT assays for quantification of cell proliferation and/or viability, and RT-PCR for further characterization of proteins and gene expression.


Materials that can dictate biological behavior have enormous application in stent technology, tissue engineering, drug delivery, development of new experimental assays, basic cell culture and maintenance, and in creation of cell-material hybrids for engineering applications.

Selected Publications:

• Misra, A. C., Bhaskar, S., Clay, N. and Lahann, J. “Multicompartmental Particles for Combined Imaging and siRNA Delivery”, Adv. Mater. (2012)

• Deng, X., Eyster, T. W., Elkasabi, Y. and Lahann, J. “BioOrthogonal Polymer Coatings for Co-Presentation of Biomolecules”, Macromol. Rapid Commun., (2012), 33: 640–645.

• Jiang, X., Chen, H.-Y., Galvan, G., Yoshida, M. and Lahann, J. “Vapor-Based Initiator Coatings for Atom Transfer Radical Polymerization.” Adv. Funct. Mater., (2008) 18: 27–35.

• S. Mandal, S. Bhaskar, J. Lahann, "Micropatterned Fiber Scaffolds for Spatially-Controlled Cell Adhesion", Macromol. Rapid Commun. (2009) 131(19), 6650-6651.