We investigated the effect of nanoscale topography on neurite development in pheochromocytoma (PC12 cells) by culturing the cells on substrates having nanoscale pillars and pores with sizes comparable with filipodia. We found that cells on nanopillars and nanopores developed fewer and shorter neurites than cells on smooth substrates, and that cells on nanopores developed more and longer neurites than cells on nanopillars. These results suggest that PC12 cells were spatially aware of the difference in the nanoscale structures of the underlying substrates and responded differently in their neurite extension. This finding points to the possibility of using nanoscale topographic features to control neurite development in neurons
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