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Cell adhesion and response to nanopatterned environments by steering receptor clustering and location

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Cavalcanti-Adam,  Elisabetta Ada
Cellular Biophysics, Max Planck Institute for Medical Research, Max Planck Society;
Biophysical Chemistry, Institute of Physical Chemistry, University of Heidelberg, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany;

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Aydin,  Daniel
Cellular Biophysics, Max Planck Institute for Medical Research, Max Planck Society;

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Spatz,  Joachim Pius
Cellular Biophysics, Max Planck Institute for Medical Research, Max Planck Society;
Biophysical Chemistry, Institute of Physical Chemistry, University of Heidelberg, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany;

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Citation

Cavalcanti-Adam, E. A., Aydin, D., Hirschfeld-Warneken, V. C., & Spatz, J. P. (2008). Cell adhesion and response to nanopatterned environments by steering receptor clustering and location. HFSP Journal, 2(5), 276-285. doi:10.2976/1.2976662.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0010-4154-1
Abstract
During adhesion and spreading, cells form micrometer-sized structures comprising transmembrane and intracellular protein clusters, giving rise to the formation of what is known as focal adhesions. Over the past two decades these structures have been extensively studied to elucidate their organization, assembly, and molecular composition, as well as to determine their functional role. Synthetic materials decorated with biological molecules, such as adhesive peptides, are widely used to induce specific cellular responses dependent on cell adhesion. Here, we focus on how surface patterning of such bioactive materials and organization at the nanoscale level has proven to be a useful strategy for mimicking both physical and chemical cues present in the extracellular space controlling cell adhesion and fate. This strategy for designing synthetic cellular environments makes use of the observation that most cell signaling events are initiated through recruitment and clustering of transmembrane receptors by extracellular-presented signaling molecules. These systems allow for studying protein clustering in cells and characterizing the signaling response induced by, e.g., integrin activation. We review the findings about the regulation of cell adhesion and focal adhesion assembly by micro- and nanopatterns and discuss the possible use of substrate stiffness and patterning in mimicking both physical and chemical cues of the extracellular space.