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ACS Nano publication

posted Oct 2, 2013, 1:03 AM by Peter Ertl   [ updated Oct 2, 2013, 1:04 AM ]
We're published in ACS Nano.  This is the result of our joint work with the Institute of Synthetic Bioarchitectures at the University of Life Sciences Vienna.

Exploitation of S-Layer Anisotropy: pH-Dependent Nanolayer Orientation for Cellular Micropatterning

We have developed a tunable, facile, and reliable cell patterning method using a self-assembled crystalline protein monolayer that, depending on its orientation, can exhibit either cell adhesive (cytophilic) or cell repulsive (cytophobic) surface properties. Our technique exploits, for the first time, the inherent biological anisotropy of the bacterial cell wall protein SbpA capable of interacting with its cytophilic inner side with components of the cell wall, while its outer cytophobic side interacts with the environment. By simply altering the recrystallization protocol from a basic to an acidic condition, the SbpA-protein layer orientation and function can be switched from preventing unspecific protein adsorption and cell adhesion to effectively promote cell attachment, spreading, and proliferation. As a result, the same protein solution can be used to form cell adhesive and repulsive regions over large areas on a single substrate using a simple pH-dependent self-assembly procedure. The reliable establishment of cytophobic and cytophilic SbpA layers allows the generation of well-defined surface patterns that exhibit uniform height (9–10 nm), p4 lattice symmetry with center-to-center spacing of the morphological units of 12 nm, as well as similar surface potential and charge distributions under cell culture conditions. The pH-dependent “orientation switch” of the SbpA protein nanolayer was integrated with micromolding in capillaries (MIMIC) technology to demonstrate its application for cell patterning using a variety of cell lines including epithelial, fibroblast and endothelial cells.