Biocompatibility and functionality of implanted inorganic medical devices is limited by the local reaction of the organism, with a recently recognized contribution of nearby microvasculature. We explored the possibility to microengineer pre-embedded microvascular networks in the surface of inorganic devices. The implants would thus function as carriers of pre-assembled microvessels, ready to expand, and contribute to local angiogenesis. Based on our own studies on the role played by local microtopography in angiogenesis (the tunneling concept), we have shown the feasibility of endothelial cells cultivation in grooves created on the surface of the materials to be implanted, either polymeric or silicon. In order to develop this new technology, we devised an in situ approach to the study of the cellular behavior on micropatterned surfaces, by use of Laser Scanning Cytometry (LSC). In this report I will present our results regarding the LSC analysis of endothelial cells cultivated in grooves made on the surface of silicon wafers, and the consequences of this treatment on endothelial physiology. When comparing the growth of endothelial cells on line patterned and non-patterned areas, in terms of several morphological parameters of cell nuclei, our data support the conclusion that lateral confinement of endothelial cells induces a quiescent state, possibly by inhibiting their ability to proliferate.
Conference Committee Involvement (3)
BioMEMS and Nanotechnology III
5 December 2007 | Canberra, ACT, Australia
BioMEMS and Nanotechnology II
12 December 2005 | Brisbane, Australia
Biomedical Applications of Micro- and Nanoengineering II