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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2003 Aug 8;307(4):883-90.

Regulation of vascular smooth muscle cells by micropatterning.

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Department of Bioengineering, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA.


Vascular smooth muscle cells (SMCs) undergo morphological and phenotypic changes when cultured in vitro. To investigate whether SMC morphology regulates SMC functions, bovine aortic SMCs were grown on micropatterned collagen strips (50-, 30-, and 20-microm wide). The cell shape index and proliferation rate of SMCs on 30- and 20-microm strips were significantly lower than those on non-patterned collagen (control), and the spreading area was decreased only for cells patterned on the 20-microm strips, suggesting that SMC proliferation is dependent on cell shape index. The formation of actin stress fibers and the expression of alpha-actin were decreased in SMCs on the 20- and 30-microm collagen strips. SMCs cultured on micropatterned biomaterial poly-(D,L-lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) with 30-microm wide grooves also showed lower proliferation rate and less stress fibers than SMCs on non-patterned PLGA. Our findings suggest that micropatterned matrix proteins and topography can be used to control SMC morphology and that elongated cell morphology decreases SMC proliferation but is not sufficient to promote contractile phenotype.

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