Publication Details (including relevant citation information):
Tissue Eng Part C Methods. 2012 Mar 21. [Epub ahead of print]
Commercially available permeable supports with microporous membranes have led to significant improvements in the culture of polarized cells because they permit them to feed basolaterally and thus carry out metabolism in a more <i>in vivo</i> like setting. The porous nature of these membranes enable permeability measurements of drugs or biomolecules across the cellular barrier. However, current porous membranes have a high flow resistance due to great thickness (20-40 μm), low porosity, and a wide pore size distribution with tortuous diffusion paths which make them low-throughput for permeability studies. Here we describe an alternate platform that is more flexible, allows for more control over physical parameters of the membranes, and is high-throughput. This study reports on the synthesis, nanofabrication, and surface characterization of a 3 μm thick, transparent membrane based on poly(4-hydroxy styrene). The membranes are nanofabricated using electron beam lithography and deep ion plasma etching to achieve an organized array of straight pores from 50 nm to 800 nm in diameter, with at least 23 times less flow resistance. It also shows for the first time the potential utility of poly(4-hydroxy styrene) as a cell culture substrate with lack of cytotoxicity, and suitability for nanofabrication processes due to temperature stability.