Terminating polyelectrolyte in multilayer films influences growth and morphology of adhering cells

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Journal Article
IET Nanobiotechnology, 2010, 4 (3), pp. 77 - 90
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Polyelectrolyte films of anionic poly(sodium 4-styrenesulphonate) (PSS) and cationic poly (allylamine hydrochloride) (PAH) were constructed using layer-by-layer assembly. The authors examined the cytocompatibility of these films for future use in nanobiotechnology applications. Cell lines HEK-293 and 3T3-L1 were cultured on these films and the initial attachment, adhesion, proliferation and cytotoxicity of the cells were measured using a propidium iodide assay. The morphology and spread of the cells were measured by phase-contrast microscopy. The actin cytoskeleton was observed using fluorescent microscopy. Neither the PAH-terminated nor the PSS-terminated polyelectrolyte films were cytotoxic. The PAH-terminated polyelectrolyte films improved the initial attachment and subsequent adhesion of the cells, in addition to enhancing the production of extracellular matrix and the modelling of the actin filaments. The PSS-terminated film enhanced the proliferation of the cells compared to the PAH-terminated film. That was despite the cell cycle, the spreading or the cytotoxicity of both cell types being similar for either the PSS-terminated surfaces or the PAH-terminated surfaces. Cell behaviour can be modulated by the final surface charge of the polyelectrolyte film and the results are useful in guiding the choice of substrates and/or coatings for potential biomedical applications (e.g. implants) as well as cell biology research. © 2010 The Institution of Engineering and Technology.
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