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Effects of macro- versus nanoporous silicon substrates on human aortic endothelial cell behavior

Pilar Formentín1, María Alba1, Úrsula Catalán2, Sara Fernández-Castillejo2, Josep Pallarès1, Rosà Solà2 and Lluís F Marsal1*

Author Affiliations

1 Nano-electronic and Photonic Systems, Departament d’Enginyeria Electrònica, Elèctrica I Autómatica, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Països Catalans 26, Tarragona 43007, Spain

2 Unit of Lipids and Atherosclerosis Research, Facultat de Medicina I Ciències de la Salut, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Sant Llorenç 21, Reus, Tarragona 43201, Spain

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2014, 9:421  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-9-421

Published: 21 August 2014


Human aortic endothelial cells play a key role in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis, which is a common, progressive, and multifactorial disease that is the clinical endpoint of an inflammatory process and endothelial dysfunction. Study and development of new therapies against cardiovascular disease must be tested in vitro cell models, prior to be evaluated in vivo. To this aim, new cell culture platforms are developed that allow cells to grow and respond to their environment in a realistic manner. In this work, the cell adhesion and morphology of endothelial cells are investigated on functionalized porous silicon substrates with two different pore size configurations: macroporous and nanoporous silicon. Herein, we modified the surfaces of porous silicon substrates by aminopropyl triethoxysilane, and we studied how different pore geometries induced different cellular response in the cell morphology and adhesion. The cell growth over the surface of porous silicon becomes an attractive field, especially for medical applications. Surface properties of the biomaterial are associated with cell adhesion and as well as, with proliferation, migration and differentiation.

Porous silicon; HAEC; Cell adhesion; Cell morphology