Journal for Biophysical Chemistry

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Open Access

UV laser-ablated surface textures as potential regulator of cellular response

  • Prafulla Chandra1,
  • Karen Lai1, 2,
  • Hak-Joon Sung1, 3,
  • N. Sanjeeva Murthy1 and
  • Joachim Kohn1Email author

Received: 30 March 2010

Accepted: 5 May 2010


Textured surfaces obtained by UV laser ablation of poly(ethylene terephthalate) films were used to study the effect of shape and spacing of surface features on cellular response. Two distinct patterns, cones and ripples with spacing from 2 to 25 μm, were produced. Surface features with different shapes and spacings were produced by varying pulse repetition rate, laser fluence, and exposure time. The effects of the surface texture parameters, i.e., shape and spacing, on cell attachment, proliferation, and morphology of neonatal human dermal fibroblasts and mouse fibroblasts were studied. Cell attachment was the highest in the regions with cones at ≈4 μm spacing. As feature spacing increased, cell spreading decreased, and the fibroblasts became more circular, indicating a stress-mediated cell shrinkage. This study shows that UV laser ablation is a useful alternative to lithographic techniques to produce surface patterns for controlling cell attachment and growth on biomaterial surfaces.