Loughborough University
Thesis-2018-Holland.pdf (5.17 MB)

An investigation into the effects of substrate properties on the mechanics of corneal epithelial cells

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posted on 2018-11-15, 16:07 authored by Preeti Holland
Cells respond to mechanical changes in their extracellular environment, as reflected by various cell behaviours and observed through changes in the tissue biomechanics. Types of cell behaviour that are regulated by mechanical cues in the microenvironment of the cell are cell spreading, migration, proliferation and differentiation. Cell migration is a key part of many biological processes including corneal wound repair. Changes in the biomechanical properties of the cornea can be induced by refractive and therapeutic treatments and also by diseases of the eye or other illnesses. A Rabbit Corneal Epithelial (RCE) cell line was used to study cell mechanics and cell migration. Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), a biocompatible silicone elastomer, was used as a substrate to culture RCE cells. In order to promote cell attachment and growth, the hydrophilicity of the PDMS surface was increased by treating it with oxygen-rich cold atmospheric pressure plasma, which was confirmed by surface characterisation techniques. Cell attachment and growth studies over time comparing plasma and non-plasma treated PDMS showed an increase in RCE cell growth and area coverage on plasma treated PDMS. [Continues.]


Loughborough University, Graduate School.



  • Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering


© Preeti Holland

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Publication date



A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.


  • en