Delivering therapeutics to mucosal tissues such as the nasal and gastrointestinal tracts is highly desirable due to ease of access and dense vasculature. However, the mucus layer effectively captures and removes most therapeutic macromolecules and devices. In previous work, we have shown that nanoengineered microparticles (NEMPs) adhere through the mucus layer, exhibiting up to 1000 times the pull-off force of an unmodified microsphere, and showing greater adhesion than some chemical targeting means. In this paper, we demonstrate that nanotopography improves device adhesion in vivo, increasing retention time up to ten-fold over unmodified devices. Moreover, we observe considerable adhesion in several cell lines using an in vitro shear flow model, indicating that this approach is promising for numerous tissues. We then demonstrate that nanowire-mediated adhesion is highly robust to variation in nanowire surface charge and cellular structure and function, and we characterize particle loading and elution. We present a form of cytoadhesion that utilizes the physical interaction of nanoengineered surfaces with subcellular structures to produce a robust and versatile cytoadhesive for drug delivery. These nanoscale adhesive mechanisms are also relevant to fields such as tissue engineering and wound healing because they likely affect stem cell differentiation, cell remodeling, migration, etc. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.
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