Human aortic endothelial cell morphology influenced by topography of porous silicon substrates

Pilar Formentín, Úrsula Catalán, Sara Fernández-Castillejo, Maria Alba, Malgorzata Baranowska, Rosa Solà, Josep Pallarès, Lluís F. Marsal

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13 Citations (Scopus)


Porous silicon has received much attention because of its optical properties and for its usefulness in cell-based biosensing, drug delivery, and tissue engineering applications. Surface properties of the biomaterial are associated with cell adhesion and with proliferation, migration, and differentiation. The present article analyzes the behavior of human aortic endothelial cells in macro- and nanoporous collagen-modified porous silicon samples. On both substrates, cells are well adhered and numerous. Confocal microscopy and scanning electron microscopy were employed to study the effects of porosity on the morphology of the cells. On macroporous silicon, filopodia is not observed but the cell spreads on the surface, increasing the lamellipodia surface which penetrates the macropore. On nanoporous silicon, multiple filopodia were found to branch out from the cell body. These results demonstrate that the pore size plays a key role in controlling the morphology and growth rate of human aortic endothelial cells, and that these forms of silicon can be used to control cell development in tissue engineering as well as in basic cell biology research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)398-408
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Biomaterials Applications
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • cell adhesion
  • cell morphology
  • collagen
  • human aortic endothelial cells
  • Porous silicon

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