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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. Oct 1, 1996; 93(20): 10775–10778.
PMCID: PMC38231

Controlling cell attachment on contoured surfaces with self-assembled monolayers of alkanethiolates on gold.

Abstract

This paper describes a method based on experimentally simple techniques--microcontact printing and micromolding in capillaries--to prepare tissue culture substrates in which both the topology and molecular structure of the interface can be controlled. The method combines optically transparent contoured surfaces with self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) of alkanethiolates on gold to control interfacial characteristics; these tailored interfaces, in turn, control the adsorption of proteins and the attachment of cells. The technique uses replica molding in poly(dimethylsiloxane) molds having micrometer-scale relief patterns on their surfaces to form a contoured film of polyurethane supported on a glass slide. Evaporation of a thin (< 12 nm) film of gold on this surface-contoured polyurethane provides an optically transparent substrate, on which SAMs of terminally functionalized alkanethiolates can be formed. In one procedure, a flat poly(dimethylsiloxane) stamp was used to form a SAM of hexadecanethiolate on the raised plateaus of the contoured surface by contact printing hexadecanethiol [HS(CH2)15CH3]; a SAM terminated in tri(ethylene glycol) groups was subsequently formed on the bare gold remaining in the grooves by immersing the substrate in a solution of a second alkanethiol [HS(CH2)11(OCH2CH2)3OH]. Then this patterned substrate was immersed in a solution of fibronectin, the protein adsorbed only on the methyl-terminated plateau regions of the substrate [the tri(ethylene glycol)-terminated regions resisted the adsorption of protein]; bovine capillary endothelial cells attached only on the regions that adsorbed fibronectin. A complementary procedure confined protein adsorption and cell attachment to the grooves in this substrate.

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Selected References

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