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Cell Commun Adhes. 2007 Sep-Oct;14(5):181-94.

Influence of systematically varied nano-scale topography on cell morphology and adhesion.

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Department of Surgery, Regenerative Bioengineering and Repair Laboratory, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California 90095-1741, USA.


The types of cell-matrix adhesions and the signals they transduce strongly affect the cell-phenotype. We hypothesized that cells sense and respond to the three-dimensionality of their environment, which could be modulated by nano-structures on silicon surfaces. Human foreskin fibroblasts were cultured on nano-structures with different patterns (nano-post and nano-grate) and heights for 3 days. The presence of integrin alpha(5), beta(1), beta(3), paxillin and phosphorylated FAK (pFAK) were detected by western blot and immunofluorescence. Integrin beta(3) exhibited stronger signals on nano-grates. pFAK and paxillin were observed as small dot-like patterns on the cell-periphery on nano-posts and as elongated and aligned patterns on nano-grates. Collectively, our observations highlighted the presence of focal (integrin beta(1), beta(3), pFAK, paxillin), fibrillar (integrin alpha(5), beta(1)) and 3-D matrix (integrin alpha(5), beta(1), paxillin) adhesions on nano-structures. The presented nano-structures offer interesting opportunities to study the interaction of cells with topographical features comparable to the size of extracellular matrix components.

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