Ordered surface nanostructures have attracted much attention in biotechnology and biomedical engineering because of their potential to modulate cell-surface interactions in a controllable manner. However, the ability to fabricate large area ordered nanostructures is limited because of high costs and low speed of fabrication. Here, we have fabricated ordered nanostructures with large surface areas (1.5 × 1.5 cm2) using a combination of facile techniques including colloidal self-assembly, colloidal lithography and glancing angle deposition (GLAD). Polystyrene (722 nm) colloids were self-assembled into a hexagonally close-packed (hcp) crystal array at the water-air interface, transferred on a biocompatible tantalum (Ta) surface and used as a mask to generate an ordered Ta pattern. The Ta was deposited by sputter coating through the crystal mask creating approximately 60-nm-high feature sizes. The feature size was further increased by approximately 200-nm-height respectively using GLAD, resulting in the fabrication of four different surfaces (FLAT, Ta60, GLAD100, and GLAD200). Cell adhesion, proliferation, and osteogenic differentiation of primary human adipose-derived stem cells (hADSCs) were studied on these ordered nanostructures for up to 2 weeks. Our results suggested that cell spreading, focal adhesion formation, and filopodia extension of hADSCs were inhibited on the GLAD surfaces, while the growth rate was similar between each surface. Immunostaining for type I collagen (COL1) and osteocalcin (OC) showed that there was higher osteogenic components deposited on the GLAD surfaces compared to the Ta60 and FLAT surfaces after 1 week of osteogenic culture. After 2 weeks of osteogenic culture, alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity and the amount of calcium was higher on the GLAD surfaces. In addition, osteoblast-like cells were confluent on Ta60 and FLAT surfaces, whereas the GLAD surfaces were not fully covered suggesting that the cell-cell interactions are stronger than cell-substrate interactions on GLAD surfaces. Visible extracellular matrix deposits decorated the porous surface can be found on the GLAD surfaces. Depth profiling of surface components using a new Ar cluster source and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) showed that deposited extracellular matrix on GLAD surfaces is rich in nitrogen. The fabricated ordered surface nanotopographies have potential to be applied in diverse fields, and demonstrate that the behavior of human stem cells can be directed on these ordered nanotopographies, providing new knowledge for applications in biomaterials and tissue engineering.
- colloidal self-assembly
- glancing angle deposition
- human adipose-derived stem cells
- ordered topography
- osteogenic differentiation