Advanced medical devices, treatments and therapies demand an understanding of the role of interfacial properties on the cellular response. This is particularly important in the emerging fields of cell therapies and tissue regeneration. In this study, we evaluate the role of surface nanotopography on the fate of human dental pulp derived stem cells (hDPSC). These stem cells have attracted interest because of their capacity to differentiate to a range of useful lineages but are relatively easy to isolate. We generated and utilized density gradients of gold nanoparticles which allowed us to examine, on a single substrate, the influence of nanofeature density and size on stem cell behavior. We found that hDPSC adhered in greater numbers and proliferated faster on the sections of the gradients with higher density of nanotopography features. Furthermore, greater surface nanotopography density directed the differentiation of hDPSC to osteogenic lineages. This study demonstrates that carefully tuned surface nanotopography can be used to manipulate and guide the proliferation and differentiation of these cells. The outcomes of this study can be important in the rational design of culture substrates and vehicles for cell therapies, tissue engineering constructs and the next generation of biomedical devices where control over the growth of different tissues is required.