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Thermodynamic Underpinnings of Cell Alignment on Controlled Topographies



Yifu Ding, Jirun Sun, Hyun W. Ro, Zhen Wang, Jing N. Zhou, Nancy J. Lin, Sheng Lin-Gibson, Marcus T. Cicerone, Christopher L. Soles


Cells sense and respond to the chemical, topographical, and mechanical features of their substrate and extracellular matrix. Shape and locomotive response to these features is termed contact guidance (CG) and is of vital importance in understanding many developmental processes and pathologies, in treating diseases, and in developing regenerative medicine approaches. Numerous reports have demonstrated that surface topography, or roughness , affects cellular responses such as alignment. Complexity in cell structure and dynamics has thus far stymied determination of the underlying mechanisms, despite the prevalence and importance of CG effect. Here we report that, to a large degree, cell alignment response to surface topology can be understood in terms of the same energetic barriers (or work of adhesion) encountered by a classical liquid droplet during spreading on a rough surface. Experimentally, this is reflected in a striking correlation between degree of cell alignment and that of the anisotropic wetting of water droplets on topographical surfaces.


Contact guidence, surface topology


Ding, Y. , Sun, J. , Ro, H. , Wang, Z. , Zhou, J. , Lin, N. , Lin-Gibson, S. , Cicerone, M. and Soles, C. (2010), Thermodynamic Underpinnings of Cell Alignment on Controlled Topographies, Science, [online], (Accessed June 25, 2024)


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Created August 17, 2010, Updated November 10, 2018