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Issue 21, 2010
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Cell adhesion on nanopatterned fibronectin substrates

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The coating of substrates with an extracellular matrix (ECM) protein, such as fibronectin (FN), is often employed to increase cell adhesion and growth. Here, we examine the influence of the size scale and geometry of novel FN nanopatterns on the adhesion and spreading of Chinese Hamster Ovary (CHO) cells. The FN is patterned on the surface of templates created through the self-assembly of polystyrene-block-polyisoprene (PS-b-PI) diblock copolymers. Both ring-like and stripe-like FN nanopatterns are created through the preferential adsorption of FN on PS blocks, as confirmed through the complementary use of atomic force microscopy and secondary ion mass spectrometry. The ring-like FN nanopattern substrate increases the cells' adhesion compared with the cells on homogeneous FN surfaces and the stripe-like FN nanopatterns. Cell adhesion is high when the FN ring size is greater than 50 nm and when the surface coverage of FN is less than ca. 85%. We suggest that the ring-like nanopatterns of FN may be aiding cell adhesion by increasing the clustering of the proteins (integrins) with which cells bind to the nanopatterned substrate. This clustering is required for cell adhesion. In comparison to lithographic techniques, the FN templating method, presented here, provides a simple, convenient and economical way of coating substrates for tissue cultures and should be applicable to tissue engineering.

Graphical abstract: Cell adhesion on nanopatterned fibronectin substrates

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Supplementary files

Article information

04 Apr 2010
06 Aug 2010
First published
09 Sep 2010

Soft Matter, 2010,6, 5408-5416
Article type

Cell adhesion on nanopatterned fibronectin substrates

D. Liu, C. A. Che Abdullah, R. P. Sear and J. L. Keddie, Soft Matter, 2010, 6, 5408
DOI: 10.1039/C0SM00201A

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