Engineering biomaterial surfaces using nanoparticle assemblies: A new paradigm for modulating cell function

Anna Marie Lipski, University of Pennsylvania


Silica nanoparticles (NP) were investigated as a surface modification medium and their impact on cell function was studied. This work has demonstrated that NP assemblies are suitable for the surface modification of both metal and polymer substrates. Additionally, important surface parameters, such as nano-roughness, charge, and chemistry, can be imparted in a predictable manner. More importantly, by varying the NP size, nano-roughness of a surface can be varied independent of chemistry. Two terminally differentiated mammalian cell types, bovine aortic endothelial cells (BAEC) and murine calvarial osteoblast-like cells (MC3T3-E1), were used to probe the effects of nano-topography on cell proliferation, metabolic activity, spreading, cytoskeletal F-actin alignment, and focal adhesion recruitment. Furthermore, the influence of nano-topography on cell migration was studied using BAEC and human fetal osteoblasts (hFOB). The results suggested that surface nano-rugosity affects cell behavior at various levels and that these effects are cell type specific; however, some clear trends were discerned with respect to F-actin alignment and cell migration. In particular, presentation of nano-features resulted in enhancement of cytoskeletal F-actin alignment along the long axis of the cells in comparison to unmodified glass. With respect to cell migration, increased nano-roughness resulted in decreased migration rates for both BAEC and hFOB. Finally, the potential of nano-rugosity as a mediator of cell differentiation was investigated by following the lineage specific differentiation of human marrow-derived mesenchymal progenitor cells (MPC) on NP-modified 316L stainless steel and titanium substrates. It was observed that NP modification enhanced the differentiation of MPC into an osteogenic lineage and that rugosity appeared to be the dominant factor in directing this differentiation. Thus, coatings composed of silica NPs presented a new paradigm that may lend themselves to nanoscale biomimetic engineering of biomaterial surfaces. Such biomimetic surfaces may prove to be useful tools in directing differentiation of stem cells into specific lineages depending on the application. Since NP-derived coatings offered a means by which chemical and topographical cues could be systematically introduced, this surface modification approach could serve as a useful tool for delineating and decoupling topographical from chemical effects, and, vice versa, on cell behavior.

Subject Area

Biomedical research|Biophysics|Materials science

Recommended Citation

Lipski, Anna Marie, "Engineering biomaterial surfaces using nanoparticle assemblies: A new paradigm for modulating cell function" (2006). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI3246191.