Multifunctional substrates of thin porous alumina for cell biosensors

Chiara Toccafondi, Sanjay Thorat, Rosanna La Rocca, Alice Scarpellini, Marco Salerno, Silvia Dante, Gobind Das

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


We have fabricated anodic porous alumina from thin films (100/500 nm) of aluminium deposited on technological substrates of silicon/glass, and investigated the feasibility of this material as a surface for the development of analytical biosensors aiming to assess the status of living cells. To this goal, porous alumina surfaces with fixed pitch and variable pore size were analyzed for various functionalities. Gold coated (about 25 nm) alumina revealed surface enhanced Raman scattering increasing with the decrease in wall thickness, with factor up to values of approximately 104 with respect to the flat gold surface. Bare porous alumina was employed for micro-patterning and observation via fluorescence images of dye molecules, which demonstrated the surface capability for a drug-loading device. NIH-3T3 fibroblast cells were cultured in vitro and examined after 2 days since seeding, and no significant (P > 0.05) differences in their proliferation were observed on porous and non-porous materials. The effect on cell cultures of pore size in the range of 50–130 nm—with pore pitch of about 250 nm—showed no significant differences in cell viability and similar levels in all cases as on a control substrate. Future work will address combination of all above capabilities into a single device.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)2411-2420
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Materials Science: Materials in Medicine
Issue number10
StatePublished - 20 Sep 2014


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