Organization of mesenchymal stem cells is controlled by micropatterned silicon substrates Academic Article uri icon


  • Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) can differentiate into various cellular lineages, including osteoblasts (that deposit hydroxyapatite, the main mineral constituent of bone), and also exhibit a high morphological plasticity. Here we grew for the first time MSCs on micropatterned silicon chips, in order to induce topography-guided alignment. Light microscopy, scanning electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy were used to characterize the cell response on various length scales. A notable alignment and movement of MSCs along the microgrooves on the chips was revealed. The cells were shown to inhabit the grooves rather than ridges and exhibited an elongated shape, with unusually long processes. On these cells, we revealed rhizome structures arranged along the extensions, which may serve as adhesion centers and participate in elongation and locomotion.

publication date

  • January 1, 2007