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Acta Biomater. 2009 Jun;5(5):1442-54. doi: 10.1016/j.actbio.2009.01.002. Epub 2009 Jan 19.

Modulation of morphology and functions of human hepatoblastoma cells by nano-grooved substrata.

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Department of Chemical Engineering, National Taiwan University, No. 1 Roosevelt Rd., Sec. 4, Taipei 106, Taiwan.


It is known that cellular behavior is affected by nano-patterned topography. For example, many cell types tend to align and extend along the direction of nano-grooves/ridges structures. In this study, we investigated the impact of nano-grooves/ridges on hepatocyte morphology and functions. HepG2/C3A (C3A) cells were cultured on nano-grooved silicon or polystyrene substrata with various widths (from 100 to 500 nm) and depths (from 100 to 380 nm). Nano-grooved substrates induced dramatic changes in C3A cell morphology. The cells formed spheroids on the flat substrates, while C3A cells spread and grew confluently with elongated and aligned morphology along the nano-grooves/ridges. Albumin synthesis was enhanced on the nano-grooved silicon substrates compared to the flat surface, and was decreased with increasing groove depths. Urea conversion on the shallow grooves (400 nm wide and 100 nm deep) remained at the same level of that on the flat surfaces, but was decreased on the deeper grooves. We found that the functions of hepatocytes were enhanced on the substrates with shallow grooves. The nano-grooved substrates may be applied as in vitro culture systems of hepatocytes for both diagnostic and therapeutic applications.

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