The influence of microscale topography on fibroblast attachment and motility
The ability of a cell to attach and migrate on a substrate or scaffold is important in the field of tissue engineering and biomaterials, and is thus extensively studied. When considering tissue-engineering applications, a highly porous scaffold is required to guide cell growth and proliferation in three dimensions. However existing scaffolds are less than ideal for actual applications, not only as they lack mechanical strength due to pore size and have regular distribution, but also they do not ensure cell attachment, in-growth and organisation. In this study, microfabrication technology was used to create regular arrays of pits on a two-dimensional quartz surface (7, 15 and 25 μm diameter, 20 and 40 μm spacing). The patterned surface thus exhibited spatially separated mechanical edges akin to the basic structural element of a three-dimensional network, and was used as a model system for studying the effects of substrate microgeometry on fibroblast attachment and motility. Results clearly showed that fibroblast interaction with the pit edges depended on both diameter, and therefore angle of circumference, and inter pit spacing, with the largest diameter permitting cells to enter the pits. Interestingly, the highest cell proliferation rates were recorded on the smaller pits. Such information may provide details on possible pore sizes for use in synthetic tissue engineering scaffolds that aim to support fibroblast in-growth and subsequent proliferation.
Journal: Biomaterials - Volume 25, Issue 26, November 2004, Pages 5781–5788