Mechanistic Insight in Surface Nanotopography Driven Cellular Migration

Panthihage Ruvini L. Dabare, Akash Bachhuka, Rahul M. Visalakshan, Hanieh S. Shirazi, Kostya Ostriko, Louise E. Smith, Krasimir Vasilev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Cellular migration plays a vital role in many physiological processes. To elucidate the role of surface nanotopography on the downstream signaling pathways underlying cell migration, model surfaces having well-defined hill-like surface nanotopography and uniform surface chemistry were designed and implemented using plasma polymerization and covalent attachment of nanoparticles of predetermined size. A scratch wound assay, immunostaining, and gene expression of focal adhesion (FA) proteins were performed to determine the influence of surface nanotopography on cell migration. The results of this study demonstrate that the gap closure between cell monolayers is faster on surfaces having greater nanoscale topography. The phenomenon is predominantly driven by cell migration and was independent from cell proliferation. Qualitative and quantitative assessment of proteins involved in the signaling pathways underlying cell migration showed significant modulation by surface nanotopography. Specifically, focal adhesion sites decreased with the increase in surface nanotopography scale while the expression of FA proteins increased. This implies that nanotopography mediated modulation of cell migration is directly governed by the recruitment of receptor and adapter proteins responsible for cell-surface interaction. The results of this study indicate that biomaterial devices and constructs having rationally designed surface nanotopography and chemistry could be utilized to regulate wound healing and tissue regeneration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4921–4932
Number of pages12
JournalACS Biomaterials Science and Engineering
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 11 Oct 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • biomaterials
  • cell migration
  • nanotopography
  • plasma polymerization
  • surface chemistry
  • wound healing


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