The regulation of integrin-mediated osteoblast focal adhesion and focal adhesion kinase expression by nanoscale topography

Jung Yul Lim, Andrea D. Dreiss, Zhiyi Zhou, Joshua C. Hansen, Christopher A. Siedlecki, Robert W. Hengstebeck, Juan Cheng, Nicholas Winograd, Henry J. Donahue

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

155 Scopus citations


An important consideration in developing physical biomimetic cell-stimulating cues is that the in vivo extracellular milieu includes nanoscale topographic interfaces. We investigated nanoscale topography regulation of cell functions using human fetal osteoblastic (hFOB) cell culture on poly(l-lactic acid) and polystyrene (50/50 w/w) demixed nanoscale pit textures (14, 29, and 45 nm deep pits). Secondary ion mass spectroscopy revealed that these nanotopographic surfaces had similar surface chemistries to that of pure PLLA because of PLLA component surface segregation during spin casting. We observed that 14 and 29 nm deep pit surfaces increased hFOB cell attachment, spreading, selective integrin subunit expression (e.g., αv relative to α5, β1, or β3), focal adhesive paxillin protein synthesis and paxillin colocalization with cytoskeletal actin stress fibers, and focal adhesion kinase (FAK) and phosphorylated FAK (pY397) expression to a greater degree than did 45 nm deep pits or flat PLLA surfaces. Considering the important role of integrin-mediated focal adhesion and intracellular signaling in anchorage-dependent cell function, our results suggest a mechanism by which nanostructured physical signals regulate cell function. Modulation of integrin-mediated focal adhesion and related cell signaling by altering nanoscale substrate topography will have powerful applications in biomaterials science and tissue engineering.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1787-1797
Number of pages11
Issue number10
StatePublished - Apr 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Adhesion
  • Focal adhesion kinase
  • Integrin
  • Nanotopography
  • Osteoblast

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Biophysics
  • Biomaterials
  • Mechanics of Materials


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