The threshold at which substrate nanogroove dimensions may influence fibroblast alignment and adhesion.
until further notice
Number of pages
SourceBiomaterials, 28, 27, (2007), pp. 3944-3951
Article / Letter to editor
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Periodontology and Biomaterials
Scanning Probe Microscopy
SubjectBiophysical Chemistry; NCMLS 1: Immunity, infection and tissue repair; NCMLS 2: Immune Regulation; NCMLS 3: Tissue engineering and pathology; NCMLS 7: Chemical and physical biology; ONCOL 3: Translational research; Scanning Probe Microscopy; UMCN 1.4: Immunotherapy, gene therapy and transplantation; UMCN 4.3: Tissue engineering and reconstructive surgery
The differences in morphological behaviour between fibroblasts cultured on smooth and nanogrooved substrata (groove depth: 5-350 nm, width: 20-1000 nm) have been evaluated in vitro. The aim of the study was to clarify to what extent cell guidance occurs on increasingly smaller topographies. Pattern templates were made using electron beam lithography, and were subsequently replicated in polystyrene cell culture material using solvent casting. The replicates were investigated with atomic force microscopy (AFM). After seeding with fibroblasts, morphological characteristics were investigated using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and light microscopy, in order to obtain qualitative and quantitative information on cell alignment. AFM revealed that the nanogroove/ridge widths were replicated perfectly, although at deeper levels the grooves became more concave. The smooth substrata had no distinguishable pattern other than a roughness amplitude of 1 nm. Interestingly, microscopy and image analysis showed that fibroblast after 4 h had adjusted their shape according to nanotopographical features down to cut-off values of 100 nm width and 75 nm depth. After 24 h culturing time, fibroblasts would even align themselves on groove depths as shallow as 35 nm. It appears depth is the most essential parameter in cellular alignment on groove patterns with a pitch ratio of 1:1. On the smooth substrata, cells always spread out in a random fashion. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) demonstrated that both main parameters, topography and culturing time, were significant. We conclude that fibroblast cells cultured on nanotopography experience a threshold feature size of 35 nm, below this value contact guidance does no longer exist.
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