2018 SEED project summary: Stem cells reside in a complex and dynamic microenvironment, where they sense geometrical, chemical and mechanical cues, and respond to it. There is increasing evidence that curvature of the external environment, including at the scale of a cell length, directly affects stem cell behavior. Yet, existing cell culture systems fail to accurately mimic the architecture experienced by stem cells in 3D. This proposal will address this gap. The main goals of this proposal are: (i) to develop a fundamental understanding of the effects of “cell-scale” (on the order of a cell length) curvature on cell function, and (ii) to determine the effect of matrix stiffness and ligand density on the ability of a cell to sense and respond to curvature. We propose to develop 3D bioprinted hydrogel devices from novel bioink formulations that will enable unparalleled control over curvature, stiffness, and ligand expression.