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Nano Lett. 2013 Jul 10;13(7):3185-92. doi: 10.1021/nl401237s. Epub 2013 Jun 26.

Engineered nanomembranes for directing cellular organization toward flexible biodevices.

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  • 1WPI-Advanced Institute for Materials Research (WPI-AIMR), Tohoku University , 2-1-1 Katahira, Aoba-ku, Sendai, 980-8577, Japan.


Controlling the cellular microenvironment can be used to direct the cellular organization, thereby improving the function of synthetic tissues in biosensing, biorobotics, and regenerative medicine. In this study, we were inspired by the microstructure and biological properties of the extracellular matrix to develop freestanding ultrathin polymeric films (referred as "nanomembranes") that were flexible, cell adhesive, and had a morphologically tailorable surface. The resulting nanomembranes were exploited as flexible substrates on which cell-adhesive micropatterns were generated to align C2C12 skeletal myoblasts and embedded fibril carbon nanotubes enhanced the cellular elongation and differentiation. Functional nanomembranes with tunable morphology and mechanical properties hold great promise in studying cell-substrate interactions and in fabricating biomimetic constructs toward flexible biodevices.

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