Neuronal adhesion and growth on nanopatterned EA5-POPC synthetic membranes†
Biomimetic membranes create opportunities for various applications, including the possibility of replacing interacting cells in a cell–cell contact. Here we have fractionated synthetic membranes using metal nano-grid structures where EphrinA5 (EA5), a neuronal adhesion promoter, was anchored via its Fc domain (immunoglobulin G (IgG)-domain). FRAP experiments were performed to check the confinement of the synthetic membrane within these nano-structures. Rat cortical primary neurons were cultured and live cell imaging techniques were used to monitor the neuronal interaction with these fractionated synthetic membranes. Computational imaging analysis of the corresponding images elucidated interesting details of the cellular behavior. The phenotypic cellular response on these nano-membrane fractions was found to be similar to that on non-fractionated synthetic membranes indicating that although the number of focal adhesion points was low (due to the reduced EA5 number) in the nano-sized membrane patches perhaps some other factors like metal grid boundaries might be playing a role in rendering the similarity.