Bio-inspired configurable multiscale extracellular matrix-like structures for functional alignment and guided orientation of cells
Inspired by the hierarchically organized protein fibers in extracellular matrix (ECM) as well as the physiological importance of multiscale topography, we developed a simple but robust method for the design and manipulation of precisely controllable multiscale hierarchical structures using capillary force lithography in combination with an original wrinkling technique. In this study, based on our proposed fabrication technology, we approached a conceptual platform that can mimic the hierarchically multiscale topographical and orientation cues of the ECM for controlling cell structure and function. We patterned the polyurethane acrylate-based nanotopography with various orientations on the microgrooves, which could provide multiscale topography signals of ECM to control single and multicellular morphology and orientation with precision. Using our platforms, we found that the structures and orientations of fibroblast cells were greatly influenced by the nanotopography, rather than the microtopography. We also proposed a new approach that enables the generation of native ECM having nanofibers in specific three-dimensional (3D) configurations by culturing fibroblast cells on the multiscale substrata. We suggest that our methodology could be used as efficient strategies for the design and manipulation of various functional platforms, including well-defined 3D tissue structures for advanced regenerative medicine applications.
Journal: Biomaterials - Volume 69, November 2015, Pages 158–164