Visualizing cell extracellular matrix (ECM) deposited by cells cultured on aligned bacteriophage M13 thin films

Laying Wu, L. Andrew Lee, Zhongwei Niu, Soumitra Ghoshroy, Qian Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Topographical features ranging from micro- to nanometers can affect cell orientation and migratory pathways, which are important factors in tissue engineering and tumor migration. In our previous study, a convective assembly of bacteriophage M13 resulted in thin films which could be used to control the alignment of cells. However, several questions regarding its underlying reasons to dictate cell alignment remained unanswered. Here, we further study the nanometer topographical features generated by the bacteriophage M13 crystalline film, which results in the alignment of the cells and extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins. Sequential imaging analyses at micro- and nanoscale levels of aligned cells and fibrillar matrix proteins were documented using scanning electron microscopy and immunofluorescence microscopy. As a result, we observed baby hamster kidney cells with higher degree of alignment on the ordered M13 substrates than NIH-3T3 fibroblasts, a difference which could be attributed to the intrinsic nature of the cellś production of ECM proteins. The results from this study provide a crucial insight into the topographical features of a biological thin film, which can be utilized to control the orientation of cells and surrounding ECM proteins.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9490-9496
Number of pages7
Issue number15
StatePublished - 2 Aug 2011


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