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Open Access Nano Express

Nanostructured porous silicon micropatterns as a tool for substrate-conditioned cell research

Esther Punzón-Quijorna12*, Vanessa Sánchez-Vaquero3, Álvaro Muñoz-Noval1, M Jesus Pérez-Roldán14, Raúl J Martín-Palma1, Francois Rossi4, Aurelio Climent-Font12, Miguel Manso-Silván1, J Predestinacion García Ruiz3 and Vicente Torres-Costa1

Author Affiliations

1 Departamento de Física Aplicada, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Cantoblanco, Madrid, 28049, Spain

2 Centro de Microanálisis de Materiales, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Cantoblanco, Madrid, 28049, Spain

3 Departamento de Biología Molecular, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Cantoblanco, Madrid, 28049, Spain

4 European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for Health and Consumer Protection, Ispra (VA), 21027, Italy

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2012, 7:396  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-7-396

Published: 16 July 2012


The localized irradiation of Si allows a precise patterning at the microscale of nanostructured materials such as porous silicon (PS). PS patterns with precisely defined geometries can be fabricated using ion stopping masks. The nanoscale textured micropatterns were used to explore their influence as microenvironments for human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs). In fact, the change of photoluminescence emission from PS upon aging in physiological solution suggests the intense formation of silanol surface groups, which may play a relevant role in ulterior cell adhesion. The experimental results show that hMSCs are sensitive to the surface micropatterns. In this regard, preliminary β-catenin labeling studies reveal the formation of cell to cell interaction structures, while microtubule orientation is strongly influenced by the selective adhesion conditions. Relevantly, Ki-67 assays support a proliferative state of hMSCs on such nanostructured micropatterns comparable to that of standard cell culture platforms, which reinforce the candidature of porous silicon micropatterns to become a conditioning structure for in vitro culture of HMSCs.

Nanostructured porous silicon; Ion beam; Human mesenchymal stem cells; Cell adhesion; Photoluminescence; Micropattern; Cell guide