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Gradients in surface nanotopography used to study platelet adhesion and activation

Journal article
Authors Mats Hulander
Anders Lundgren
L. Faxälv
T. L. Lindahl
Anders Palmquist
Mattias Berglin
Hans-Björne Elwing
Published in Colloids and Surfaces B-Biointerfaces
Volume 110
Pages 261-269
ISSN 0927-7765
Publication year 2013
Published at Institute of Clinical Sciences, Department of Biomaterials
Department of Chemistry and Molecular Biology
Pages 261-269
Language en
Keywords Nanoparticles, Nanotopography, Gradient, Fibrinogen, Platelet activation, quartz-crystal microbalance, self-assembled monolayers, atomic-force, microscopy, protein adsorption, cell, nanoparticles, fibrinogen, nanostructures, spectroscopy, ellipsometry
Subject categories Biochemistry, Biophysics, Cell and Molecular Biology, Biomaterials Science


Gradients in surface nanotopography were prepared by adsorbing gold nanoparticles on smooth gold substrates using diffusion technique. Following a sintering procedure the particle binding chemistry was removed, and integration of the particles into the underlying gold substrate was achieved, leaving a nanostructured surface with uniform surface chemistry. After pre-adsorption of human fibrinogen, the effect of surface nanotopography on platelets was studied. The use of a gradient in nanotopography allowed for platelet adhesion and activation to be studied as a function of nanoparticle coverage on one single substrate. A peak in platelet adhesion was found at 23% nanoparticle surface coverage. The highest number of activated platelets was found on the smooth control part of the surface, and did not coincide with the number of adhered platelets. Activation correlated inversely with particle coverage, hence the lowest fraction of activated platelets was found at high particle coverage. Hydrophobization of the gradient surface lowered the total number of adhering cells, but not the ratio of activated cells. Little or no effect was seen on gradients with 36 nm particles, suggesting the existence of a lower limit for sensing of surface nano-roughness in platelets. These results demonstrate that parameters such as ratio between size and inter-particle distance can be more relevant for cell response than wettability on nanostructured surfaces. The minor effect of hydrophobicity, the generally reduced activation on nanostructured surfaces and the presence of a cut-off in activation of human platelets as a function of nanoparticle size could have implications for the design of future blood-contacting biomaterials.

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