Monitoring cell adhesion on tantalum and oxidised polystyrene using a quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation

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Journal Article
Biomaterials, 2006, 27 (26), pp. 4529 - 4537
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The quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation (QCM-D) (Q-Sense AB, Sweden) has been established as a useful tool for evaluating interactions between various biological and non-biological systems, and there has been increasing interest in using the QCM-D technique for cell monitoring applications. This study investigated the potential of the QCM-D to characterise the initial adhesion and spreading of cells in contact with protein precoated biocompatible surfaces. The QCM-D technique is attractive for monitoring cell adhesion and spreading as it allows in situ real-time measurements. The adhesion of NIH3T3 (EGFP) fibroblasts to tantalum (Ta) and oxidised polystyrene (PSox) surfaces precoated with serum proteins was examined using the QCM-D for a period of either 2 or 4 h. Time-lapse photography was performed at 30 min intervals to visually examine cell adhesion and spreading in order to relate cell morphology to the QCM-D response. Following adsorption of albumin, fibronectin or newborn calf serum onto the surfaces, QCM-D measurements showed that cells adhered and spread on the fibronectin and serum coated surfaces, while few cells adhered to the albumin coated surfaces. Cells adhered to albumin coated surfaces had a rounded morphology. The responses to fibronectin and serum precoated surfaces were quite different for each of the underlying substrates indicating that the process of cell adhesion and spreading elicits different responses depending on both the protein coating composition and the influence of the underlying substrate. The different response may be due to extracellular matrix remodelling as well as cytoskeletal changes. Frequency (f) and dissipation (D) changes associated with cell adhesion were less than would be expected from the Sauerbrey relation due to the viscoelastic properties of the cells. © 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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