Mesoscale substrate curvature overrules nanoscale contact guidance to direct bone marrow stromal cell migration.
ABSTRACT: The intrinsic architecture of biological tissues and of implanted biomaterials provides cells with large-scale geometrical cues. To understand how cells are able to sense and respond to complex structural environments, a deeper insight into the cellular response to multi-scale and conflicting geometrical cues is needed. In this study, we subjected human bone marrow stromal cells (hBMSCs) to mesoscale cylindrical surfaces (diameter 250-5000 µm) and nanoscale collagen fibrils (diameter 100-200 nm) that were aligned perpendicular to the cylinder axis. On flat surfaces and at low substrate curvatures (cylinder diameter d > 1000 µm), cell alignment and migration were governed by the nanoscale collagen fibrils, consistent with the contact guidance effect. With increasing surface curvature (decreasing cylinder diameter, d < 1000 µm), cells increasingly aligned and migrated along the cylinder axis, i.e. the direction of zero curvature. An increase in phosphorylated myosin light chain levels was observed with increasing substrate curvature, suggesting a link between substrate-induced cell bending and the F-actin-myosin machinery. Taken together, this work demonstrates that geometrical cues of up to 10× cell size can play a dominant role in directing hBMSC alignment and migration and that the effect of nanoscale contact guidance can even be overruled by mesoscale curvature guidance.
Project description:Crystals with broken inversion symmetry can host fundamentally appealing and technologically relevant periodical or localized chiral magnetic textures. The type of the texture as well as its magnetochiral properties are determined by the intrinsic Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interaction (DMI), which is a material property and can hardly be changed. Here we put forth a method to create new artificial chiral nanoscale objects with tunable magnetochiral properties from standard magnetic materials by using geometrical manipulations. We introduce a mesoscale Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interaction that combines the intrinsic spin-orbit and extrinsic curvature-driven DMI terms and depends both on the material and geometrical parameters. The vector of the mesoscale DMI determines magnetochiral properties of any curved magnetic system with broken inversion symmetry. The strength and orientation of this vector can be changed by properly choosing the geometry. For a specific example of nanosized magnetic helix, the same material system with different geometrical parameters can acquire one of three zero-temperature magnetic phases, namely, phase with a quasitangential magnetization state, phase with a periodical state and one intermediate phase with a periodical domain wall state. Our approach paves the way towards the realization of a new class of nanoscale spintronic and spinorbitronic devices with the geometrically tunable magnetochirality.
Project description:Introduction:Dentinogenesis imperfecta type 1 (OIDI) is considered a relatively rare genetic disorder (1:5000 to 1:45,000) associated with osteogenesis imperfecta. OIDI impacts the formation of collagen fibrils in dentin, leading to morphological and structural changes that affect the strength and appearance of teeth. However, there is still a lack of understanding regarding the nanoscale characterization of the disease, in terms of collagen ultrastructure and mechanical properties. Therefore, this research presents a qualitative and quantitative report into the phenotype and characterization of OIDI in dentin, by using a combination of imaging, nanomechanical approaches. Methods:For this study, 8 primary molars from OIDI patients and 8 primary control molars were collected, embedded in acrylic resin and cut into longitudinal sections. Sections were then demineralized in 37% phosphoric acid using a protocol developed in-house. Initial experiments demonstrated the effectiveness of the demineralization protocol, as the ATR-FTIR spectral fingerprints showed an increase in the amide bands together with a decrease in phosphate content. Structural and mechanical analyses were performed directly on both the mineralized and demineralized samples using a combination of scanning electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy, and Wallace indentation. Results:Mesoscale imaging showed alterations in dentinal tubule morphology in OIDI patients, with a reduced number of tubules and a decreased tubule diameter compared to healthy controls. Nanoscale collagen ultrastructure presented a similar D-banding periodicity between OIDI and controls. Reduced collagen fibrils diameter was also recorded for the OIDI group. The hardness of the (mineralized) control dentin was found to be significantly higher (p<0.05) than that of the OIDI (mineralized) dentine. Both the exposed peri- and intratubular dentinal collagen presented bimodal elastic behaviors (Young's moduli). The control samples presented a stiffening of the intratubular collagen when compared to the peritubular collagen. In case of the OIDI, this stiffening in the collagen between peri- and intratubular dentinal collagen was not observed and the exposed collagen presented overall a lower elasticity than the control samples. Conclusion:This study presents a systematic approach to the characterization of collagen structure and properties in OIDI as diagnosed in dentin. Structural markers for OIDI at the mesoscale and nanoscale were found and correlated with an observed lack of increased elastic moduli of the collagen fibrils in the intratubular OIDI dentin. These findings offer an explanation of how structural changes in the dentin could be responsible for the failure of some adhesive restorative materials as observed in patients affected by OIDI.
Project description:Geometrical cues have been shown to alter gene expression and differentiation on 2D substrates. However, little is known about how geometrical cues affect cell function in 3D. One major reason for this lack of understanding is rooted in the difficulties of controlling cell geometry in a complex 3D setting and for long periods of culture. Here, we present a robust method to control cell volume and shape of individual human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) inside 3D microniches with a range of different geometries (e.g., cylinder, triangular prism, cubic, and cuboid). We find that the actin filaments, focal adhesions, nuclear shape, YAP/TAZ localization, cell contractility, nuclear accumulation of histone deacetylase 3, and lineage selection are all sensitive to cell volume. Our 3D microniches enable fundamental studies on the impact of biophysical cues on cell fate, and have potential applications in investigating how multicellular architectures organize within geometrically well-defined 3D spaces.
Project description:Scaffold materials for bone regeneration are crucial for supporting endogenous healing after accidents, infections, or tumor resection. Although beneficial impacts of microtopological or nanotopological cues in scaffold topography are commonly acknowledged, less consideration is given to the interplay between the microscale and nanoscale. Here, micropores with a 60.66 ± 24.48 µm diameter ordered by closely packed collagen fibers are identified in pre-wetted Spongostan, a clinically-approved collagen sponge. On a nanoscale level, a corrugated surface of the collagen sponge is observable, leading to the presence of 32.97 ± 1.41 nm pores. This distinct micro- and nanotopography is shown to be solely sufficient for guiding osteogenic differentiation of human stem cells in vitro. Transplantation of Spongostan into a critical-size calvarial rat bone defect further leads to fast regeneration of the lesion. However, masking the micro- and nanotopographical cues using SiO2 nanoparticles prevents bone regeneration in vivo. Therefore, we demonstrate that the identified micropores allow migration of stem cells, which are further driven towards osteogenic differentiation by scaffold nanotopography. The present findings emphasize the necessity of considering both micro- and nanotopographical cues to guide intramembranous ossification, and might provide an optimal cell- and growth-factor-free scaffold for bone regeneration in clinical settings.
Project description:Contact guidance or bidirectional migration along aligned fibers modulates many physiological and pathological processes such as wound healing and cancer invasion. Aligned 2D collagen fibrils epitaxially grown on mica substrates replicate many features of contact guidance seen in aligned 3D collagen fiber networks. However, these 2D collagen self-assembled substrates are difficult to image through, do not have known or tunable mechanical properties and cells degrade and mechanically detach collagen fibrils from the surface, leading to an inability to assess contact guidance over long times. Here, we describe the transfer of aligned collagen fibrils from mica substrates to three different functionalized target substrates: glass, polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) and polyacrylamide (PA). Aligned collagen fibrils can be efficiently transferred to all three substrates. This transfer resulted in substrates that were to varying degrees resistant to cell-mediated collagen fibril deformation that resulted in detachment of the collagen fibril field, allowing for contact guidance to be observed over longer time periods. On these transferred substrates, cell speed is lowest on softer contact guidance cues for both MDA-MB-231 and MTLn3 cells. Intermediate stiffness resulted in the fastest migration. MTLn3 cell directionality was low on soft contact guidance cues, whereas MDA-MB-231 cell directionality marginally increased. It appears that the stiffness of the contact guidance cue regulates contact guidance differently between cell types. The development of this collagen fibril transfer method allows for the attachment of aligned collagen fibrils on substrates, particularly flexible substrates, that do not normally promote aligned collagen fibril growth, increasing the utility of this collagen self-assembly system for the fundamental examination of mechanical regulation of contact guidance.
Project description:To activate clot formation and maintain hemostasis, platelets adhere and spread onto sites of vascular injury. Although this process is well-characterized biochemically, how the physical and spatial cues in the microenvironment affect platelet adhesion and spreading remain unclear. In this study, we applied deep UV photolithography and protein micro/nanostamping to quantitatively investigate and characterize the spatial guidance of platelet spreading at the single cell level and with nanoscale resolution. Platelets adhered to and spread only onto micropatterned collagen or fibrinogen surfaces and followed the microenvironmental geometry with high fidelity and with single micron precision. Using micropatterned lines of different widths, we determined that platelets are able to conform to micropatterned stripes as thin as 0.6 µm and adopt a maximum aspect ratio of 19 on those protein patterns. Interestingly, platelets were also able to span and spread over non-patterned regions of up to 5 µm, a length consistent with that of maximally extended filopodia. This process appears to be mediated by platelet filopodia that are sensitive to spatial cues. Finally, we observed that microenvironmental geometry directly affects platelet biology, such as the spatial organization and distribution of the platelet actin cytoskeleton. Our data demonstrate that platelet spreading is a finely-tuned and spatially-guided process in which spatial cues directly influence the biological aspects of how clot formation is regulated.
Project description:Bacteria such as Escherichia coli swim along circular trajectories adjacent to surfaces. Thereby, the orientation (clockwise, counterclockwise) and the curvature depend on the surface properties. We employ mesoscale hydrodynamic simulations of a mechano-elastic model of E. coli, with a spherocylindrical body propelled by a bundle of rotating helical flagella, to study quantitatively the curvature of the appearing circular trajectories. We demonstrate that the cell is sensitive to nanoscale changes in the surface slip length. The results are employed to propose a novel approach to directing bacterial motion on striped surfaces with different slip lengths, which implies a transformation of the circular motion into a snaking motion along the stripe boundaries. The feasibility of this approach is demonstrated by a simulation of active Brownian rods, which also reveals a dependence of directional motion on the stripe width.
Project description:The cellulose synthesizing terminal complex consisting of subunits A, B, C, and D in Acetobacter xylinum spans the outer and inner cell membranes to synthesize and extrude glucan chains, which are assembled into subelementary fibrils and further into a ribbon. We determined the structures of subunit D (AxCeSD/AxBcsD) with both N- and C-terminal His(6) tags, and in complex with cellopentaose. The structure of AxCeSD shows an exquisite cylinder shape (height: ?65 Å, outer diameter: ?90 Å, and inner diameter: ?25 Å) with a right-hand twisted dimer interface on the cylinder wall, formed by octamer as a functional unit. All N termini of the octamer are positioned inside the AxCeSD cylinder and create four passageways. The location of cellopentaoses in the complex structure suggests that four glucan chains are extruded individually through their own passageway along the dimer interface in a twisted manner. The complex structure also shows that the N-terminal loop, especially residue Lys6, seems to be important for cellulose production, as confirmed by in vivo assay using mutant cells with axcesD gene disruption and N-terminus truncation. Taking all results together, a model of the bacterial terminal complex is discussed.
Project description:Both electrical stimuli (endogenous and exogenous) and topographical cues are instructive to axonal extension. This report, for the first time, investigated the relative dominance of directional topographical guidance cues and directional electrical cues to enhance and/or direct primary neurite extension. We hypothesized the combination of electrical stimulation with electrospun fiber topography would induce longer neurite extension from dorsal root ganglia neurons than the presence of electrical stimulation or aligned topography alone.To test the hypothesis, neurite outgrowth was examined on laminin-coated poly-L-lactide films or electrospun fibers (2 µm in diameter) in the presence or absence of electrical stimulation. Immunostained neurons were semi-automatically traced using Neurolucida software and morphology was evaluated.Neurite extension increased 74% on the aligned fibers compared to film controls. Stimulation alone increased outgrowth by 32% on films or fibers relative to unstimulated film controls. The co-presentation of topographical (fibers) with biophysical (electrical stimulation) cues resulted in a synergistic 126% increase in outgrowth relative to unstimulated film controls. Field polarity had no influence on the directionality of neurites, indicating topographical cues are responsible for guiding neurite extension.Both cues (electrical stimulation and fiber geometry) are modular in nature and can be synergistically applied in conjunction with other common methods in regenerative medicine such as controlled release of growth factors to further influence axonal growth in vivo. The combined application of electrical and aligned fiber topographical guidance cues described herein, if translated in vivo, could provide a more supportive environment for directed and robust axonal regeneration following peripheral nerve injury.
Project description:We present a novel design of wedge hybrid plasmonic terahertz (THz) waveguide consisting of a silicon (Si) nanowire cylinder above a triangular gold wedge with surrounded high-density polyethylene as cladding. It features long propagation length and ultra-small deep-subwavelength mode confinement. The mode properties of wedge hybrid plasmonic THz waveguide are comprehensively characterized in terms of propagation length (L), normalized mode area (Aeff/A0), figure of merit (FoM), and chromatic dispersion (D). The designed wedge hybrid plasmonic THz waveguide enables an ultra-small deep-subwavelength mode area which is more than one-order of magnitude smaller compared to previous rectangular one. When choosing the diameter of Si nanowire cylinder, a smaller diameter (e.g. 10 μm) is preferred to achieve longer L and higher FoM, while a larger diameter (e.g. 60 μm) is favorable to obtain smaller Aeff/A0 and higher FoM. We further study the impacts of possible practical fabrication errors on the mode properties. The simulated results of propagation length and normalized mode area show that the proposed wedge hybrid plasmonic THz waveguide is tolerant to practical fabrication errors in geometry parameters such as misalignment in the horizontal direction, variation of wedge tip angle, and variation of wedge tip curvature radius.