Adsorption state of fibronectin on poly(dimethylsiloxane) surfaces with varied stiffness can dominate adhesion density of fibroblasts

Ji Hun Seo, Keiko Sakai, Nobuhiko Yui

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64 Citations (Scopus)


The state of adsorbed fibronectin and the subsequent cell adhesion behavior on polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) substrates with varied stiffness were investigated. The bulk elastic modulus as well as the macroscale and nanoscale surface repulsion forces on PDMS substrates with five different cross-linker concentrations (2.5, 5, 10, 20 and 40 wt.%) were evaluated by using tensile and compression tests as well as atomic force microscopy (AFM) indentation. The PDMS substrate with 10 wt.% cross-linker showed the maximum stiffness in the bulk elastic modulus and macroscale compression test. In contrast, PDMS substrates with 2.5 and 5 wt.% cross-linker concentration showed the maximum stiffness in the nanoscale compression test, which indicates that the physical properties of the nanoscale outermost surface are different from the bulk and macroscale surface properties. The fibronectin-treated PDMS substrates showed almost the same amount of fibronectin adsorption. However, the outermost surface density of fibronectin was related to the macroscale surface stiffness, and the exposure of the cell-binding motif was related to the nanoscale surface stiffness. Moreover, the different adsorption state of fibronectin was further confirmed by quartz crystal microbalance-dissipation (QCM-D) monitoring. The adhesion behavior of NIH3T3 mouse fibroblasts was in turn related to the exposure of the cell-binding motif. These results suggest that the well-known differences in cell adhesion behavior on PDMS substrates with varied stiffness are primarily induced by different responses of fibronectin to the PDMS substrates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5493-5501
Number of pages9
JournalActa Biomaterialia
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Mar
Externally publishedYes


  • Cell adhesion
  • Fibronectin
  • Polydimethylsiloxane
  • Stiffness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biomaterials
  • Biochemistry
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Molecular Biology


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