Modulating cell adhesion dynamics on carbon nanotube monolayer engineered with extracellular matrix proteins

Ning Cai, Chee C. Wong, Ying X. Gong, Samuel C.W. Tan, Vincent Chan, Kin Liao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations

Abstract

Although it has been demonstrated that carbon nanotubes (CNTs) may have potentials for tissue engineering applications because of their unparalleled physical properties, little has been known on the cell adhesion mechanisms on model CNT monolayer pertaining to the design of novel cell therapeutics device. In this study, the adhesion dynamics of primary porcine esophageal fibroblasts (PEFs) on CNT monolayer were elucidated with confocal reflectance interference contrast microscopy (C-RICM) integrating with phase contrast microscopy. Moreover, CNT monolayer (CNT-ML) was functionalized with two typical extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins including collagen type I (COL) and fibronectin (FN) in order to promote its biocompatibility. First, it is shown by atomic force microscopy that the topographical features of CNT-ML were dependent on the types of immobilized ECM protein. Second, significant time lag in adhesion contact evolution (around 10 min) for PEFs was found on both CNT-ML and CNT-COL compared to the negligible time lag on CNT-FN. It was found that adhesion energy of PEFs on the CNT-COL and CNT-FN surfaces reached steady state at 60 and 30 min after cell seeding compared to 70 min on CNT-ML surface. At steady state, the adhesion energy of PEFs on the CNT-COL and CNT-FN surfaces was about twice as much than that on the CNT-ML surface. Moreover, immobilization of collagen or fibronectin on CNT monolayer led to an increase in seeding efficiency and proliferation rate of PEFs. Scanning electron microscopy and immunostaining together demonstrated that PEFs displayed an elongated morphology and highly polarized actin network on both CNT-COL and CNT-FN surfaces, whereas PEFs displayed nonuniform cell morphology and actin organization on the CNT-ML surface. Overall, our results demonstrated that the biophysical responses and biological behavior of PEFs on unmodified or functionalized CNT monolayer were different. Functionalization of CNT through extracellular matrix protein immobilization effectively promotes cell adhesion and proliferation, which may provide information for designing CNT-based biomaterials or novel cell therapeutics devices in biomedical engineering.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)1038-1047
Number of pages10
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Volume2
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 28 Apr 2010

Keywords

  • Adhesion dynamics
  • Carbon nanotube
  • Cell adhesion
  • Surface functionalization

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