The behavior of mammalian cells on vertical nanowire (NW) arrays, including cell spreading and the dynamic distribution of focal adhesions and cytoskeletal proteins, has been intensively studied to extend the implications for cellular manipulations in vitro. Prompted by the result that cells on silicon (Si) NWs showed morphological changes and reduced migration rates, we have explored the transition of mesenchymal stem cells into a neuronal lineage by using SiNWs with varying lengths. When human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) were cultured on the longest SiNWs for 3 days, most of the cells exhibited elongated shapes with neurite-like extensions and dot-like focal adhesions that were prominently observed along with actin filaments. Under these circumstances, the cell motility analyzed by live cell imaging was found to decrease due to the presence of SiNWs. In addition, the slowed growth rate, as well as the reduced population of S phase cells, suggested that the cell cycle was likely arrested in response to the differentiation process. Furthermore, we measured the mRNA levels of several lineage-specific markers to confirm that the SiNWs actually induced neuron-like differentiation of the hMSCs while hampering their osteogenic differentiation. Taken together, our results implied that SiNWs were capable of inducing active reorganization of cellular behaviors, collectively guiding the fate of hMSCs into the neural lineage even in the absence of any inducing reagent.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)