Studies on the biocompatibility of materials: Fibroblast reorganization of substratum-bound fibronectin on surfaces varying in wettability

Georgi Altankov, Frederick Grinnell, Thomas Groth

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The ability of human fibroblasts to remove and reorganize fibronectin (FN) bound on material surfaces was studied as a novel feature of material surface biocompatibility. Other traditional parameters of biocompatibility analyzed included cell spreading, clustering of fibronectin receptors into focal adhesions, development of stress fibers, and cell growth. Five different materials with surface wettability ranging from hydrophilic (underwater contact angle 25°) to hydrophobic (underwater contact angle 111°) were used, i.e., clean glass (GLASS), aminopropylsilane (APS), octadecylsilane (ODS), polylactate (PL), and silicone (SI). When cells were cultured on these materials in serum-containing medium, formation of FN receptor-rich focal adhesions and actin stress fibers were more evident on the hydrophilic surfaces (GLASS and APS) compared to the hydrophobic ones (PL, ODS, and SI). Cell growth showed a similar pattern, that is, increased cell proliferation with increasing material surface wettability. Preadsorption of FN on the material surfaces increased subsequent cell spreading and cytoskeletal reorganization on hydrophobic surfaces except SI. Removal and reorganization of FN from the material surfaces into extracellular matrixlike structures occurred on GLASS but not on less wettable surfaces, suggesting that this removal/reorganization process may be more sensitive to changes in surface wettability than other parameters of biocompatibility.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)385-391
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biomedical Materials Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 1996


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering

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