To prepare silicone gels, parts A and B of QGel 310 (Quantum Silicones) were mixed in various ratios ranging from 1:0.60 to 1:8.9 in a Thinky planetary mixer and then degassed for 15 min. The mixtures were cured at room temperature for 1 hour and baked at 60°C for 21 hours. To prepare silicone oils, parts A and B of the aforementioned kit were mixed in the ratio of 1:0.20 in a Thinky planetary mixer and degassed for 15 min. The mixtures were left at room temperature for 1 hour and baked at 60°C for 21 hours. The mixture remained in liquid form because of the low percentage of cross-linking reagent part B. To make PA hydrogels, glass-bottom dishes were activated using 2% 3-aminopropyltriethoxysilane, followed by 0.5% glutaraldehyde to facilitate PA gel attachment to the glass. Top coverslips were treated with Sigmacote to ensure detachment of PA gels. PA solutions with acrylamide at final concentrations of 3 or 7.5% and bis-acrylamide at final concentrations ranging from 0.035 to 0.35% were mixed. N,N,N′,N′-tetramethylethylenediamine was added to a final concentration of 0.01% in solution. The PA solution was degassed for 30 min, and ammonium persulfate was added to a final concentration of 0.01% to initiate the polymerization. PA solution was sandwiched between the activated glass-bottom dish and the Sigmacote-treated coverslip and left to polymerize for 20 to 30 min. The top coverslip was then removed, and the polymerized PA gel was submerged in distilled water.

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