Micro topographical surface features and gradients for influencing mesenchymal stem cells behavior for bone tissue engineering

V. Dinca, L.E. Sima, L. Rusen, A. Bonciu, P. Hoffmann
National Institute for Lasers, Plasma and Radiation Physics,

Keywords: laser, topography, gradients, mesenchymal stem cells


Organization of the environment at the nano- and the microscale, as well as chemical signals,triggers specific responses with further impact on cell fate. Particularly, human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) hold a great promise in both basic developmental biology studies and regenerative medicine, as progenitors of bone cells. Their fate can be affected by various key regulatory factors (e.g. soluble growth factors, intrinsic, extrinsic environmental factors) that can be delivered by a fabricated scaffold. For example, when cultured on engineered environments that reproduce the physical features of the bone, hMSCs express tissue-specific transcription factors and consequently undergo an osteogenic fate. Therefore, producing smart bio-interfaces with targeted functionalities represents the key point in effective use of hierarchically topographical and chemical bioplatforms.This work aims in designing and producing model interfaces to investigate mesenchymal cellular interactions and functions by using laser material structuring aiming bone tissue engineering. The structures are produced by a well-established ablation process of an aromatic polymer on a large surface exposure set-up system. Our goal was to microstructure 2D and 3D materials for monitoring and quantifying the direction of cells behaviors such as alignment, elongation, apoptosis, etc. This laser-based process addresses the expanding market of bioplatforms, with a focus on the ability to integrate topography gradients systems onto flexible customer tailored platforms, for cell substrate interface studies (migration, adhesion, morphology, proliferation, apoptosis, ECM synthesis, phenotype). Our approach avoids the generally faced problem of irreproducibility of biological tests due to variations of chemical or topological properties of test surfaces, and is significantly faster and more flexible, allowing fast and reproducible architectures to be obtained.