A nano-fibrous platform of copolymer patterned surfaces for controlled cell alignment

Kai Zhang, Alexandra Arranja, Hongyu Chen, Serhii Mytnyk, Yiming Wang, Sander Oldenhof, Jan H. Van Esch, Eduardo Mendes*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
26 Downloads (Pure)


The last decade has witnessed great progress in understanding and manipulating self-assembly of block copolymers in solution. A wide variety of micellar structures can be created and many promising applications in bioscience have been reported. In particular, nano-fibrous micelles provide a great platform to mimic the filamentous structure of native extracellular matrix (ECM). However, the evaluation of this kind of filomicellar system with potential use in tissue engineering is virtually unexplored. The question behind it, such as if the block copolymer nano-fibrous micelles can regulate cellular response, has lingered for many years because of the difficulties in preparation and 3D manipulation of these tiny objects. Here, by using a combination approach of self-assembly of block copolymers and soft lithography, we establish a novel and unique nano-fibrous 2D platform of organized micelles and demonstrate that patterned micelles enable control over the cellular alignment behavior. The area density and orientation of fibrous micelles determine the alignment degree and directionality of cells, respectively. Furthermore, when cells were cultured on multi-directionally aligned micelles, a competitive response was observed. Due to the virtually infinite possibilities of functionalization of the micelle corona, our work opens a new route to further mimic the native fibrous networks with artificial micelles containing various functionalities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21777-21785
Number of pages9
JournalRSC Advances
Issue number39
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


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