Micropatterned hot-embossed polymeric surfaces influence cell proliferation and alignment

Lorenzo Moroni, Luke P. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Micropatterning is a powerful technique to custom-make and precisely control the surface topography of materials, which is determinant for a better interaction with cells. A modification of conventional micropatterning is proposed here to fabricate textured film from stiff and sticky polymers such as poly(lactide(s)-co-glycolide(s)) (PLGA) without the use of supports or solvents. Micropatterned PLGA films with square pits varying in height and channels varying in width were made to study the influence of these topographical parameters on human fibroblasts proliferation, morphology, and alignment. With increasing the square pit height, the cell attachment efficiency increased. After 10 days of culture the micropatterned films supported a significantly higher cell proliferation than smooth films. In particular, cell growth was highly stimulated in 150-uμm-wide chan-nels. Fibroblasts were spread with a typical spindle shape in all the films. Cell spreading increased with increasing the textured dimensions. A random cell organization was found for smooth and for square pit samples, and a high alignment was observed along the 150-uμm-wide channels. Smaller and bigger channels did not support substantial cell growth, suggesting a possible "recognition" mechanism of the cells for optimal organization. These findings could be useful in tissue engineering applications where higher proliferation rates and eventual random or unidimensional alignments of cells are desirable.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)644-653
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Biomedical Materials Research - Part A
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2009


  • Cell alignment
  • Micropatterning
  • PLGA
  • Proliferation rate
  • Surface topography


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