An algorithm-based topographical biomaterials library to instruct cell fate

Hemant V. Unadkat, Marc Hulsman, Kamiel Cornelissen, Bernke J. Papenburg, Roman K. Truckenmüller, Gerhard F. Post, Marc Uetz, Marcel J.T. Reinders, Dimitrios Stamatialis, Clemens A. van Blitterswijk, Jan de Boer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

330 Citations (Scopus)
231 Downloads (Pure)


It is increasingly recognized that material surface topography is able to evoke specific cellular responses, endowing materials with instructive properties that were formerly reserved for growth factors. This opens the window to improve upon, in a cost-effective manner, biological performance of any surface used in the human body. Unfortunately, the interplay between surface topographies and cell behavior is complex and still incompletely understood. Rational approaches to search for bioactive surfaces will therefore omit previously unperceived interactions. Hence, in the present study, we use mathematical algorithms to design nonbiased, random surface features and produce chips of poly(lactic acid) with 2,176 different topographies. With human mesenchymal stromal cells (hMSCs) grown on the chips and using high-content imaging, we reveal unique, formerly unknown, surface topographies that are able to induce MSC proliferation or osteogenic differentiation. Moreover, we correlate parameters of the mathematical algorithms to cellular responses, which yield novel design criteria for these particular parameters. In conclusion, we demonstrate that randomized libraries of surface topographies can be broadly applied to unravel the interplay between cells and surface topography and to find improved material surfaces.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16565-16570
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number40
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2011


  • high-throughput screening
  • EWI-20719
  • IR-78326
  • Mesenchymal stromal cells
  • METIS-282993
  • Micro-fabrication


Dive into the research topics of 'An algorithm-based topographical biomaterials library to instruct cell fate'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this