Immunoregulation of Macrophages by Controlling Winding and Unwinding of Nanohelical Ligands

Gunhyu Bae, Yoo Sang Jeon, Min Jun Ko, Yuri Kim, Seong Beom Han, Ramar Thangam, Wonsik Kim, Hee Joon Jung, Sungkyu Lee, Hyojun Choi, Sunhong Min, Hyunsik Hong, Sangwoo Park, Seong Yeol Kim, Kapil D. Patel, Na Li, Jeong Eun Shin, Bum Chul Park, Hyeon Su Park, Jun Hwan MoonYu Jin Kim, Uday Kumar Sukumar, Jae Jun Song, Soo Young Kim, Seung Ho Yu, Yun Chan Kang, Steve Park, Seung Min Han, Dong Hwee Kim, Ki Bum Lee, Qiang Wei, Liming Bian, Ramasamy Paulmurugan, Young Keun Kim, Heemin Kang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Developing materials with the capability of changing their innate features can help to unravel direct interactions between cells and ligand-displaying features. This study demonstrates the grafting of magnetic nanohelices displaying cell-adhesive Arg-Gly-Asp (RGD) ligand partly to a material surface. These enable nanoscale control of rapid winding (“W”) and unwinding (“UW”) of their nongrafted portion, such as directional changes in nanohelix unwinding (lower, middle, and upper directions) by changing the position of a permanent magnet while keeping the ligand-conjugated nanohelix surface area constant. The unwinding (“UW”) setting cytocompatibility facilitates direct integrin recruitment onto the ligand-conjugated nanohelix to mediate the development of paxillin adhesion assemblies of macrophages that stimulate M2 polarization using glass and silicon substrates for in vitro and in vivo settings, respectively, at a single cell level. Real time and in vivo imaging are demonstrated that nanohelices exhibit reversible unwinding, winding, and unwinding settings, which modulate time-resolved adhesion and polarization of macrophages. It is envisaged that this remote, reversible, and cytocompatible control can help to elucidate molecular-level cell–material interactions that modulate regenerative/anti-inflammatory immune responses to implants.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2103409
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Issue number37
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Sept 9

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Wiley-VCH GmbH


  • adhesion assembly
  • macrophage polarization
  • nanohelix motion
  • remote manipulation
  • reversible ligand unwinding

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Electrochemistry
  • Biomaterials


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