Size-Tunable Nanoneedle Arrays for Influencing Stem Cell Morphology, Gene Expression, and Nuclear Membrane Curvature

Hyejeong Seong, Stuart Higgins, Jelle Penders, James Armstrong, Spencer Crowder, Axel Moore, Julia Sero, Michele Becce, Molly Stevens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

High-aspect-ratio nanostructures have emerged as versatile platforms for intracellular sensing and biomolecule delivery. Here, we present a microfabrication approach in which a combination of reactive ion etching protocols were used to produce high-aspect-ratio, nondegradable silicon nanoneedle arrays with tip diameters that could be finely tuned between 20 and 700 nm. We used these arrays to guide the long-term culture of human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs). Notably, we used changes in the nanoneedle tip diameter to control the morphology, nuclear size, and F-actin alignment of interfaced hMSCs and to regulate the expression of nuclear lamina genes, Yes-associated protein (YAP) target genes, and focal adhesion genes. These topography-driven changes were attributed to signaling by Rho-family GTPase pathways, differences in the effective stiffness of the nanoneedle arrays, and the degree of nuclear membrane impingement, with the latter clearly visualized using focused ion beam scanning electron microscopy (FIB-SEM). Our approach to design high-aspect-ratio nanostructures will be broadly applicable to design biomaterials and biomedical devices used for long-term cell stimulation and monitoring.
Original languageEnglish
JournalACS Nano
Early online date29 Apr 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 29 Apr 2020

Keywords

  • nanotechnology
  • cell morphology
  • stem cells

Cite this