Tailor-made Surfaces & Bioinspired Materials

Tailor-made Surfaces & Bioinspired Materials

The ability of living organisms (i.e. living cells) to respond to various environmental changes with a high specificity is as impressive as it is difficult to predict. For the integration of these advanced sensorial systems into artificial lab-on-a-chip devices (cell-chips), the spatially controlled attachment and proliferation of living cells within microscale dimensions on solid substrates is perhaps one of the key challenges. Next to the important role of well-defined cell arrays in the automatization and acceleration of the drug discovery process, the reduction of on-chip cell colony sized down to single cell assays and the incorporation of microfluidic and sensorial systems will facilitate the investigation and perhaps enhance the understanding of cell-to-cell communication pathways.

By a simple convergent synthesis strategy, we designed bioactive, non-toxic poly(dimethylacrylamide), PDMAA polymers that carry a peptide ligand, which is recognized by receptors present in the plasma membrane of eucaryotic cells. The polymer is covalently linked to a solid substrate by simple photo-chemistry means using a surface-attached benzophenone functional site. A simple polymer synthesis combined with an efficient surface modification strategy, including lithographically structured surfaces, makes this design of bioactive interfaces very interesting for a large number of possible applications.

Optical micrograph of cells adhering to chemically microstructured, surface-bound polymer monolayers
Optical micrograph of cells adhering to chemically microstructured, surface-bound polymer monolayers

In a parallel work, we developed substrate-supported, polymerized peptide-amphiphile monolayers that expose a similar peptide-ligand (RGDS) in a very controlled fashion. Cells respond to these monolayers in a concentration-dependent manner, and possible applications of these supramolecular architectures may be their use as model-surfaces to study cell-material interactions.

Related Publications:

[1] Tirrell, M.; Kokkoli, E.; Biesalski, M.: Surface Science 2002 (500) 61-83
[2] Biesalski, M. A.,Knaebel, A.; Tu, R.; Tirrell, M. V.: Biomaterials 2006 (27) 1259-1269.
[3] Rühe, J.; Biesalski, M.: in Comprehensive Microsystems, Vol I, p107-130, Zappe et al. (Eds.), Elsevier 2008.
[4] Petersen, S.; Loschonsky, S.; Prucker, O.; Rühe, J.; Biesalski, M.: Physica Stat. Solidi A 2009 (3) 468-473.
[5] Petersen, S. and M. Biesalski: Int J Artif Organs, 2011. 34 (2) 210-214.
[6] Petersen, S., Gattermayer, M., Biesalski M.: Bioactive Surfaces J.F. Lutz, H.G. Börner (Eds.) Elsevier 2011