Cell adhesion on a POEGMA-modified topographical surface

Xiujuan Shi, Yanyun Wang, Dan Li, Lin Yuan, Feng Zhou, Yanwei Wang, Bo Song, Zhaoqiang Wu, Hong Chen, John L. Brash

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


It is well known that adsorbed proteins play a major role in cell adhesion. However, it has also been reported that cells can adhere to a protein-resistant surface. In this work, the behavior of L02 and BEL-7402 cells on a protein-resistant, 3D topographical surface was investigated. The topographical gold nanoparticle layer (GNPL) surfaces were prepared by chemical gold plating, and the topography was described by roughness parameters acquired from a multiscale analysis. Both smooth Au and GNPL surfaces were modified with POEGMA polymer brushes using surface-initiated ATRP. The dry and hydrated thicknesses of POEGMA brushes on both smooth and rough surfaces were measured by AFM using a nanoindentation method. Protein adsorption experiments using 125I radiolabeling revealed similarly low levels of protein adsorption on smooth and GNPL surfaces modified with POEGMA, thus allowing an investigation of the effects of topography on cell behavior under conditions of minimal protein adsorption. The roles of VN and FN adsorption in both L02 cells and BEL-7402 cells adhesion were investigated using cell culturing with and without a serum supplement. It was found that initial cell adhesion occurred via proteins adsorbed from the cell culture medium, whereas subsequent durable cell adhesion could be attributed to the topographical structure of the surface. Although cell spreading on protein-resistant surfaces was constrained because of the lack of adsorbed proteins, we found that cells adherent to topographical surfaces were more firmly attached and thus were more durable compared to those on smooth surfaces. In general, however, we conclude that topography is more important for cell adhesion on a protein-resistant surface.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17011-17018
Number of pages8
Issue number49
Publication statusPublished - Dec 11 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Spectroscopy
  • Electrochemistry

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