The development of new methods for fabricating thin films that provide precise control of the three-dimensional topography and cell adhesion could lead to significant advances in the fields of tissue engineering and biosensors. This Communication describes the successful attachment and spreading of primary hepatocytes on polyelectrolyte multilayer (PEM) films without the use of adhesive proteins such as collagen or fibronectin. We demonstrate that the attachment and spreading of primary hepatocytes can be controlled using this layer-by-layer deposition of ionic polymers. In our study, we used synthetic polymers, namely poly(diallyldimethylammonium chloride) (PDAC) and sulfonated poly(styrene) (SPS) as the polycation and polyanion, respectively, to build the multilayers. Primary hepatocytes attached and spread preferentially on SPS surfaces over PDAC surfaces. SPS patterns were formed on PEM surfaces, either by microcontact printing of SPS onto PDAC surfaces or vice versa, to obtain patterns of primary hepatocytes. PEM is a useful technique for fabricating controlled co-cultures with specified cell-cell and cell-surface interactions on a protein-free environment, thus providing flexibility in designing cell-specific surfaces for tissue engineering applications.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry