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Investigation of cell-substrate interactions by focused ion beam preparation and scanning electron microscopy

: Friedmann, A.; Hoess, A.; Cismak, A.; Heilmann, A.

Preprint urn:nbn:de:0011-n-1725313 (4.9 MByte PDF)
MD5 Fingerprint: e640ddf061d428dff5b065edb83de934
Erstellt am: 22.11.2013

Acta biomaterialia 7 (2011), Nr.6, S.2499-2507
ISSN: 1742-7061
ISSN: 1878-7568
Zeitschriftenaufsatz, Elektronische Publikation
Fraunhofer IWM ( IMWS) ()
focused ion beam; electron microscopy; cell-substrate interactions; nanoporous materials; biosensor

Cell-substrate interactions, which are an important issue in tissue engineering, have been studied using focused ion beam (FIB) milling and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Sample cross-sections were generated at predefined positions (target preparation) to investigate the interdependency of growing cells and the substrate material. The experiments focus on two cell culturing systems, hepatocytes (HepG2) on nanoporous aluminum oxide (alumina) membranes and mouse fibroblasts (L929) and primary nerve cells on silicon chips comprised of microneedles. Cross-sections of these soft/hard hybrid systems cannot be prepared by conventional techniques like microtomy. Morphological investigations of hepatocytes growing on nanoporous alumina membranes demonstrate that there is in-growth of microvilli from the cell surface into porous membranes having pore diameters larger than 200 nm. Furthermore, for various cell cultures on microneedle arrays contact between the cells and the m icroneedles can be observed at high resolution. Based on FIB milled cross-sections and SEM micrographs cells which are only in contact with microneedles and cells which are penetrated by microneedles can be clearly distinguished. Target preparation of biological samples by the FIB technique especially offers the possibility of preparing not only soft materials but also hybrid samples (soft/hard materials). Followed by high resolution imaging by SEM, new insights into cell surface interactions can be obtained.