A nanotopography approach for studying the structure-function relationships of cells and tissues

Kshitiz, Junaid Afzal, Sang Yeob Kim, Deok Ho Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Most cells in the body secrete, or are in intimate contact with extracellular matrix (ECM), which provides structure to tissues and regulates various cellular phenotypes. Cells are well known to respond to biochemical signals from the ECM, but recent evidence has highlighted the mechanical properties of the matrix, including matrix elasticity and nanotopography, as fundamental instructive cues regulating signal transduction pathways and gene transcription. Recent observations also highlight the importance of matrix nanotopography as a regulator of cellular functions, but lack of facile experimental platforms has resulted in a continued negligence of this important microenvironmental cue in tissue culture experimentation. In this review, we present our opinion on the importance of nanotopography as a biological cue, contexts in which it plays a primary role influencing cell behavior, and detail advanced techniques to incorporate nanotopography into the design of experiments, or in cell culture environments. In addition, we highlight signal transduction pathways that are involved in conveying the extracellular matrix nanotopography information within the cells to influence cell behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)300-307
Number of pages8
JournalCell Adhesion and Migration
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Cell biology
  • Extracellular matrix
  • Nanotopography
  • Structure-function
  • Tissue engineering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Cell Biology


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