Quantitative analysis of the combined effect of substrate rigidity and topographic guidance on cell morphology

Jin Seok Park, Hong Nam Kim, Deok Ho Kim, Andre Levchenko, Kahp Yang Suh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Live cells are exquisitely sensitive to both the substratum rigidity and texture. To explore cell responses to both these types of inputs in a precisely controlled fashion, we analyzed the responses of Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells to nanotopographically defined substrata of different rigidities, ranging from 1.8 MPa to 1.1 GPa. Parallel arrays of nanogrooves (800-nm width, 800-nm space, and 800-nm depth) on polyurethane (PU)-based material surfaces were fabricated by UV-assisted capillary force lithography (CFL) over an area of 5 mm × 3 mm. We observed dramatic morphological responses of CHO cells, evident in their elongation and polarization along the nanogrooves direction. The cells were progressively more spread and elongated as the substratum rigidity increased, in an integrin β1 dependent manner. However, the degree of orientation was independent of substratum rigidity, suggesting that the cell shape is primarily determined by the topographical cues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6015561
Pages (from-to)28-36
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Transactions on Nanobioscience
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Cell adhesion
  • Chinese Hamster Ovary (CHO) cells
  • microenvironment
  • nanofabrication
  • nanogrooves
  • substrate rigidity
  • topographical cues

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Quantitative analysis of the combined effect of substrate rigidity and topographic guidance on cell morphology'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this