From nano to micro: topographical scale and its impact on cell adhesion, morphology and contact guidance

J Phys Condens Matter. 2016 May 11;28(18):183001. doi: 10.1088/0953-8984/28/18/183001. Epub 2016 Apr 12.


Topography, among other physical factors such as substrate stiffness and extracellular forces, is known to have a great influence on cell behaviours. Optimization of topographical features, in particular topographical dimensions ranging from nanoscale to microscale, is the key strategy to obtain the best cellular performance for various applications in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. In this review, we provide a comprehensive survey on the significance of sizes of topography and their impacts on cell adhesion, morphology and alignment, and neurite guidance. Also recent works mimicking the hierarchical structure of natural extracellular matrix by combining both nanoscale and microscale topographies are highlighted.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomimetics / methods*
  • Cell Adhesion* / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Microtechnology / methods*
  • Nanotechnology / methods*
  • Neurites / drug effects