Cell guidance by ultrafine topography in vitro

P CLARK, P CONNOLLY, A S G CURTIS, J A T DOW, C D W WILKINSON

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    Abstract

    Laser holography and microelectronic fabrication techniques have been employed to make grating surfaces in fused quartz with ultrafine period (260 nm) in an attempt to mimic the topography of aligned fibrillar extracellular matrix (ECM), which, in the past, has been shown to affect the behaviour of cells in vitro and in vivo. The alignment of BHK cells, MDCK cells and chick embryo cerebral neurones on 260 nm period grating surfaces (130 nm grooves separated by 130 nm) of various depths (100, 210 and 400 nm) was examined. While all gratings aligned BHK cell populations, the degree of alignment was dependent on depth. The response of single MDCK cells to the grating patterns was both to align precisely to the direction of the gratings, and to elongate; only their elongation was depth-dependent. MDCK cells that were part of epithelial cell islands, and the outgrowth of neurites from chick embryo neurones, were mainly unaffected by the grating surfaces. It is clear that topography on this scale can control cell behaviour, but guidance of this type is strongly dependent on cell type and cell-cell interactions.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)73-77
    Number of pages5
    JournalJournal of Cell Science
    Volume99
    Publication statusPublished - May 1991

    Keywords

    • contact guidance
    • cell behavior
    • topographic guidance
    • neurons
    • epithelial cells
    • BHK cells
    • laser holography
    • photolithography
    • extracellular-matrix organization
    • epithelial-cells
    • grooved substrata
    • migration
    • fibroblasts
    • orientation
    • behavior
    • alignment
    • surfaces

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