Nanotopographic Surfaces with Defined Surface Chemistries from Amyloid Fibril Networks Can Control Cell Attachment Academic Article uri icon


  • We show for the first time the possibility of using networks of amyloid fibrils, adsorbed to solid supports and with plasma polymer coatings, for the fabrication of chemically homogeneous surfaces with well-defined nanoscale surface features reminiscent of the topography of the extracellular matrix. The robust nature of the fibrils allows them to withstand the plasma polymer deposition conditions used with no obvious deleterious effect, thus enabling the underlying fibril topography to be replicated at the polymer surface. This effect was seen despite the polymer coating thickness being an order of magnitude greater than the fibril network. The in vitro culture of fibroblast cells on these surfaces resulted in increased attachment and spreading compared to flat plasma polymer films with the same chemical composition. The demonstrated technique allows for the rapid and reproducible fabrication of substrates with nanoscale fibrous topography that we believe will have applications in the development of new biomaterials allowing, for example, the investigation of the effect of extracellular matrix mimicking nanoscale morphology on cellular phenotype.


  • Reynolds, Nicholas P
  • Styan, Katie E
  • Easton, Christopher D
  • Li, Yali
  • Waddington, Lynne
  • Lara, Cecile
  • Forsythe, John S
  • Mezzenga, Raffaele
  • Hartley, Patrick G
  • Muir, Benjamin W

publication date

  • 2013