Adhesion contact dynamics of fibroblasts on biomacromolecular surfaces

Ning Fang, Aiping Zhu, Mary B. Chan-Park, Vincent Chan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Biomacromolecules like gelatin and chitosan have emerged as highly versatile biomimetic coatings for applications in tissue engineering. The elucidation of the interfacial kinetics of cell adhesion on biomacromolecular surfaces will pave the way for the rational design of chitosan/ gelatin-based systems for cell regeneration. Biomacromolecular ultra-thin films, chemically immobilized on fused silica are ideal experimental models for determining the effect of surface properties on the biophysical cascades following cell seeding. In this study, confocal reflectance interference contrast microscopy (C-RICM), in conjunction with phase contrast microscopy and fluorescence confocal microscopy, was applied to detect the adhesion contact dynamics of 3T3 fibroblasts on chitosan and gelatin ultrathin films. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) confirmed the immobilization of chitosan or gelatin on the silanized glass surface. Both the initial cell deformation rate and the change of two-dimensional spread area of the 3T3 fibroblasts are higher on gelatin-modified surfaces than on chitosan surfaces. The steady-state adhesion energy of 3T3 fibroblasts on gelatin film is three times higher than that on chitosan film. Immuno-staining of actin further demonstrates the different organization of cytoskeleton, likely induced by the change in cell signaling mechanism on the two biomacromolecular surfaces. The better attachment of 3T3 fibroblast to gelatin is postulated ta be caused by the presence of adhesive domains on gelatin.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)1022-1031
Number of pages10
JournalMacromolecular Bioscience
Issue number10
StatePublished - 20 Oct 2005


  • Adhesion dynamics
  • Biophysics
  • Cytoskeleton
  • Polymer


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