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A novel heater structure capable of producing precisely controlled temperature gradients at cellular length scales is microfabricated. Protocols for successful culturing of RGC and PC12 cells on the heater surface are developed, and the heater structure is used to investigate the effect of spatial temperature gradients on neurite outgrowth in these cells. The results are discussed in the light of a recently developed theory for chemically-mediated thermotaxis.
Date of Conference: 12-15 May 2005