Genetically modified Lactococcus lactis, non-pathogenic bacteria expressing the FNIII 7-10 fibronectin fragment as a protein membrane have been used to create a living biointerface between synthetic materials and mammalian cells. This FNIII 7-10 fragment comprises the RGD and PHSRN sequences of fibronectin to bind 5 21 integrins and triggers signalling for cell adhesion, spreading and differentiation. We used L. lactis strain to colonize material surfaces and produce stable biofilms presenting the FNIII 7-10 fragment readily available to cells. Biofilm density is easily tunable and remains stable for several days. Murine C2C12 myoblasts seeded over mature biofilms undergo bipolar alignment and form differentiated myotubes, a process triggered by the FNIII 7-10 fragment. This biointerface based on living bacteria can be further modified to express any desired biochemical signal, establishing a new paradigm in biomaterial surface functionalisation for biomedical applications.
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