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Protein nanosheet mechanics controls cell adhesion and expansion on low-viscosity liquids
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2018 (English)In: Nano letters (Print), ISSN 1530-6984, E-ISSN 1530-6992, Vol. 18, no 3, p. 1946-1951Article in journal, Letter (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Adherent cell culture typically requires cell spreading at the surface of solid substrates to sustain the formation of stable focal adhesions and assembly of a contractile cytoskeleton. However, a few reports have demonstrated that cell culture is possible on liquid substrates such as silicone and fluorinated oils, even displaying very low viscosities (0.77 cSt). Such behavior is surprising as low viscosity liquids are thought to relax much too fast (<ms) to enable the stabilization of focal adhesions (with lifetimes on the order of minutes to hours). Here we show that cell spreading and proliferation at the surface of low viscosity liquids are enabled by the self-assembly of mechanically strong protein nanosheets at these interfaces. We propose that this phenomenon results from the denaturation of globular proteins, such as albumin, in combination with the coupling of surfactant molecules to the resulting protein nanosheets. We use interfacial rheology and atomic force microscopy indentation to characterize the mechanical properties of protein nanosheets and associated liquid–liquid interfaces. We identify a direct relationship between interfacial mechanics and the association of surfactant molecules with proteins and polymers assembled at liquid–liquid interfaces. In addition, our data indicate that cells primarily sense in-plane mechanical properties of interfaces, rather than relying on surface tension to sustain spreading, as in the spreading of water striders. These findings demonstrate that bulk and nanoscale mechanical properties may be designed independently, to provide structure and regulate cell phenotype, therefore calling for a paradigm shift for the design of biomaterials in regenerative medicine.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Washington: American Chemical Society (ACS), 2018. Vol. 18, no 3, p. 1946-1951
Keywords [en]
cell adhesion, interfacial mechanics, liquid−liquid interface, nanosheets, Protein self-assembly
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URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-145890DOI: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.7b05339ISI: 000427910600054OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-145890DiVA, id: diva2:1191823
Available from: 2018-03-20 Created: 2018-03-20 Last updated: 2018-08-07Bibliographically approved

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Ramstedt, Madeleine

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