Programming cell fate on bio-functionalized silicon

  • Premnath P
  • Tan B
  • Venkatakrishnan K
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Controlling the growth of cells on the surface of silicon without an additive layer or topographical modification is unexplored. This research article delineates the discovery of unique properties of a bio-functionalized silicon substrate, programmed to repel or control cells, generated by ultrafast femtosecond pulse interaction with silicon. Remarkably, bio-functionalization in any shape or size without change in topology or morphology is observed indicating only sub-surface phase transformations. Material characterization reveals the presence of a unique mixture of phases of SiO2and Si. Consequently, these variations in phase alter the physicochemical characteristics on the surface of silicon resulting in its bio-functionalization. The culture of mouse embryonic fibroblasts shows unique adhesion characteristics on these bio-functionalized silicon surfaces that include cell controlling, cell trapping, and cell shaping. Furthermore, the directionality of fibroblasts is restrained parallel to bio-functionalized zones as evidenced by changes in cytoskeleton. The controlling of proliferation, migration and adhesion of cells is attributed to unique phase bio-functionalization. This method presents considerable promise in a myriad of applications such as tissue engineering, MEMS, and lab-on-a-chip devices.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Cell repelling
  • Femtosecond laser
  • Fibroblasts
  • Phase transformation
  • Silicon

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  • Priyatha Premnath

  • Bo Tan

  • Krishnan Venkatakrishnan

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