Hojeong Jeon1,2†, Sangmo Koo1†, Willie Mae Reese3, Peter Loskill3,4, Costas P. Grigoropoulos1* and Kevin E. Healy3,4*
1Laser Thermal Laboratory, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720, USA. 2Center for Biomaterials, Biomedical Research Institute, Korea Institute of Science and Technology, Seoul 136-791, Republic of Korea. 3Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720, USA. 4Department of Bioengineering and California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences (QB3), University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, California 94720, USA. †These authors contributed equally to this work.
Correspondence to : Costas P. Grigoropoulos or Kevin E. Healy
Although adhesive interactions between cells and nanostructured interfaces have been studied extensively1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, there is a paucity of data on how nanostructured interfaces repel cells by directing cell migration and cell-colony organization. Here, by using multiphoton ablation lithography7 to pattern surfaces with nanoscale craters of various aspect ratios and pitches, we show that the surfaces altered the cells’ focal-adhesion size and distribution, thus affecting cell morphology, migration and ultimately localization. We also show that nanocrater pitch can disrupt the formation of mature focal adhesions to favour the migration of cells towards higher-pitched regions, which present increased planar area for the formation of stable focal adhesions. Moreover, by designing surfaces with variable pitch but constant nanocrater dimensions, we were able to create circular and striped cellular patterns. Our surface-patterning approach, which does not involve chemical treatments and can be applied to various materials, represents a simple method to control cell behaviour on surfaces.