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Open Access Nano Express

Control of growth and inflammatory response of macrophages and foam cells with nanotopography

Mohammed Mohiuddin1, Hsu-An Pan1, Yao-Ching Hung23 and Guewha Steven Huang1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Material Science and Engineering, National Chiao Tung University, 1001 University Road, Hsinchu 300, Taiwan

2 Section of Gynecologic Oncology, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, China Medical University and Hospital, 91 Hsueh Shih Road, Taichung 404, Taiwan

3 College of Medicine, China Medical University, Taichung 404, Taiwan

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2012, 7:394  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-7-394

Published: 16 July 2012


Macrophages play an important role in modulating the immune function of the human body, while foam cells differentiated from macrophages with subsequent fatty streak formation play a key role in atherosclerosis. We hypothesized that nanotopography modulates the behavior and function of macrophages and foam cells without bioactive agent. In the present study, nanodot arrays ranging from 10‐ to 200‐nm were used to evaluate the growth and function of macrophages and foam cells. In the quantitative analysis, the cell adhesion area in macrophages increased with 10- to 50-nm nanodot arrays compared to the flat surface, while it decreased with 100- and 200-nm nanodot arrays. A similar trend of adhesion was observed in foam cells. Immunostaining, specific to vinculin and actin filaments, indicated that a 50-nm surface promoted cell adhesion and cytoskeleton organization. On the contrary, 200-nm surfaces hindered cell adhesion and cytoskeleton organization. Further, based on quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction data, expression of inflammatory genes was upregulated for the 100- and 200-nm surfaces in macrophages and foam cells. This suggests that nanodots of 100‐ and 200‐nm triggered immune inflammatory stress response. In summary, nanotopography controls cell morphology, adhesions, and proliferation. By adjusting the nanodot diameter, we could modulate the growth and expression of function-related genes in the macrophages and foam cell system. The nanotopography-mediated control of cell growth and morphology provides potential insight for designing cardiovascular implants.

Cell adhesion; Nanotopography; Macrophages; Foam cell; Biocompatible; Inflammatory response