Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 54, Issue 5, pp 4236–4245 | Cite as

Origin of efficiency enhancement in cell capture on nanostructured arrays

  • Jing Zhou
  • Yu Xiong
  • Zechun Dang
  • Jinqi Li
  • Xinlei LiEmail author
  • Yuhua YangEmail author
  • Tongsheng ChenEmail author
Materials for life sciences


Nanomaterials with nanopatterned surface are emerging as promising biomaterials for probing and manipulating cells. In recent years, numerous experimental explorations of cell captured on nanopatterned surfaces have been developed. However, the effects of topographies of nanopatterned surfaces on the ability to capture cells are not yet well understood. Here, we explain the effects of topographies on cell capture by establishing a thermodynamic model. Our theoretical results reveal that underlying physical mechanism of cell captured on topographical surfaces which clarifies the ability of cell capture is determined by the comparison of adhesion energy and deformation energy of cell membrane. According to the calculated results, the phase diagrams of the ability to capture cells on nanostructures (e.g., nanoparticles and nanowires) have been constructed, which can clarify the interrelated effects between the ability to capture cells and surfaced topographies of nanostructures. From the phase, we can predict the ability to capture cells on different topographical surfaces. Meanwhile, the predictive power of the theoretical model is confirmed by our experiments. On the other hand, the predictive results of theoretical model are in good agreement with cases from the studies.



This work was financially supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grants Nos. 61527825 and 81471699), Natural Science Foundation of Guangdong Province (Grants Nos. 2017A030313389 and 2018A030313125), and the Science and Technology Project of Guangzhou (Grant Nos. 201805010002).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.MOE Key Laboratory of Laser Life Science and Institute of Laser Life Science, College of BiophotonicsSouth China Normal UniversityGuangzhouChina
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Optoelectronic Materials and Technologies, Nanotechnology Research Center, School of Materials Science and EngineeringSun Yat-sen UniversityGuangzhouChina

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