This study proposes a novel cell collection method based on collagenase treatment and ultrasonic vibration. The method collects calf chondrocytes from a reusable metal cell culture substrate. To develop our concept, we calculated the natural vibration modes of the cell culture substrate by a finite element method, and conducted eigenvalue and piezoelectric-structural analyses. Selecting the first out-of-plane vibration mode of the substrate, which has a single nodal circle, we designed and fabricated the cell collection device. The excited vibration mode properly realized our intentions. We then evaluated the cell collection ratio and the growth response, and observed the morphology of the collected cells. The collagenase and ultrasonic vibration treatment collected comparable numbers of cells to conventional trypsin and pipetting treatment, but improved the proliferating cell statistics. Morphological observations revealed that the membranes of cells collected by the proposed method remain intact; consequently, the cells are larger and rougher than cells collected by the conventional method. Therefore, we present a promising cell collection method for adhesive cell culturing process.
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