The design of nano- and microstructures based on self-organization is a key area of research in the search for new materials, and it has a variety of potential applications in tissue engineering scaffolds. We have reported a honeycomb-patterned polymer film (honeycomb film) with highly regular pores that is formed by self-organization. This study describes the behavior of vascular endothelial cells (ECs) on honeycomb films with four different pore sizes (5, 9, 12, and 16 μm) as well as on a flat film. We examined the influence of the honeycomb pattern and pore size on cell behavior. The changes in cell morphologies, actin filaments, vinculin clusters, cell proliferation, and secreted extracellular matrix (ECM) (fibronectin, laminin, type IV collagen, and elastin) production profiles were observed by using optical, fluorescence, and scanning electron microscopy. The ECs that adhered to the flat film showed an elongated morphology with random orientation; the actin filaments and focal adhesions were not conspicuous. On the other hand, the ECs on the honeycomb films exhibited greater spreading and flattening; the degree of spreading of the ECs increased with an increase in the pore size. The actin filaments and focal adhesions appeared conspicuous, and the focal adhesions localized along the edge of the honeycomb pores were distributed over the entire projected cell area. The honeycomb film with a pore size of 5 μm showed the highest cell proliferation and ECM production profiles. These results suggest that the honeycomb film is a suitable material for designing a new vascular device.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biomedical Engineering
- Materials Science(all)
- Condensed Matter Physics