Engineering cell de-adhesion dynamics on thermoresponsive poly(N-isopropylacrylamide)

Beiyi Chen, F. J. Xu, Ning Fang, K. G. Neoh, E. T. Kang, Wei Ning Chen, Vincent Chan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PIPAAm) has been demonstrated as an effective thermoresponsive polymer for non-invasive cell regeneration/recovery. However, little is known about the intricate relationship between the biophysical response of cells and physiochemical properties of PIPAAm during cell recovery. In this study, the de-adhesion kinetics of smooth muscle cell (SMC) on PIPAAm surfaces is probed with unique biophysical techniques. Water-immersion atomic force microscope (AFM) first showed that the nanotopology of PIPAAm surfaces is dependent on the polymerization time and collagen coating. It is found that the initial rate of cell de-adhesion increases with the increase in polymerization time. Moreover, the degree of cell deformation (a/R) and average adhesion energy are reduced with the increase of grafted PIPAAm density during 40 min of cell de-adhesion. It has been shown that collagen coating regulates cell adhesion on biomaterial surface. Interestingly, lower collagen density on PIPAAm leads to higher adhesion energy per cell during the initial 20 min compared with as-prepared PIPAAm, while the initial rate of cell de-adhesion remains unchanged. In contrast, higher collagen density leads to 50% reduction in the initial rate of cell de-adhesion and higher adhesion energy per cell during the entire 90 min. Furthermore, immunostaining of actin provides supporting evidence that the de-adhesion kinetics is correlated with the cytoskeleton transformation during cell de-adhesion below the lower solution critical temperature (LCST).

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)218-229
Number of pages12
JournalActa Biomaterialia
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2008


  • Collagen
  • De-adhesion
  • Kinetics
  • Poly(N-isopropylacrylamide)
  • SMC


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