(599bj) Investigating the Physiological Implications of a Nanotopographically-Induced Alignment of Endothelial Cells
It has recently been suggested that the nanotopography of a surface might alone be sufficient to promote a more physiologically-relevant morphology and surface chemistry of endothelial cells in vitro, thereby eliminating the need for cumbersome flow adaption efforts. In this work, we investigated the efficacy of a groove-aligned human umbilical vein endothelial cell (HUVEC) monolayer to determine if nanotopography alone could create a better mimic of the in vivo endothelium than statically cultured cells on standard glass substrates. Results suggest that while nano-scale grooves can be implemented to ensure a more unidirectional, elongated growth of HUVECs, the surface expressions of four common leukocyte and tumor cell adhesion molecules (ICAM-1, VCAM-1, E-selectin, P-selectin) were not significantly upregulated as compared to traditional cytokine-induced upregulation by tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α). The inherent decoupling of morphology and surface chemistry highlights an important structure/function mismatch incurred when generating biomimetic devices that should not be overlooked.