Evaluation of substrata effect on cell adhesion properties using freestanding poly(l -lactic acid) nanosheets

Toshinori Fujie*, Leonardo Ricotti, Andrea Desii, Arianna Menciassi, Paolo Dario, Virgilio Mattoli

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


Investigation of the interactions between cells and material surfaces is important not only for the understanding of cell biology but also for the development of smart biomaterials. In this study, we investigated the substrate-related effects on the interaction between cell and polymeric ultrathin film (nanosheet) by modulating the mechanical properties of the nanosheet with a metal substrate or mesh. A freestanding polymeric nanosheet with tens-of-nanometers thickness composed of poly(l-lactic acid) (PLLA nanosheet) was fabricated by combination of a spin-coating technique and a water-soluble sacrificial layer. The freestanding PLLA nanosheet was collected on a stainless steel mesh (PLLA-mesh) and subsequently used for cell adhesion studies, comparing the results to the ones on a control SiO 2 substrate coated with an ultrathin layer of PLLA (PLLA-substrate). The adhesion of rat cardiomyocytes (H9c2) was evaluated on both samples after 24 h of culture. The PLLA-mesh with the tens-of-nanometers thick nanosheets induced an anisotropic adhesion of H9c2, while H9c2 on the PLLA-substrate showed an isotropic adhesion independent from the nanosheet thickness. Interestingly, an increment in the nanosheet thickness in the PLLA-mesh samples reduced the cellular anisotropy and led to a similar morphology to the PLLA-substrate. Considering the huge discrepancy of Youngs modulus between PLLA nanosheet (3.5-4.2 GPa) and metal substrate (hundreds of GPa), cell adhesion was mechanically regulated by the Youngs modulus of the underlying substrate when the thickness of the PLLA nanosheet was tens of nanometers. Modulation of the stiffness of the polymeric nanosheet by utilizing a rigid underlying material will allow the constitution of a unique cell culture environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13173-13182
Number of pages10
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Nov 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrochemistry
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Spectroscopy


Dive into the research topics of 'Evaluation of substrata effect on cell adhesion properties using freestanding poly(l -lactic acid) nanosheets'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this