Nanomechanical measurements of thin dextran layers

Wojciech R. Fabianowski 1Beata Polak 1Ude Hangen 3Tomasz Kobiela 1Radosław M. Olkowski 2Małgorzata Lewandowska-Szumieł 2

1. Warsaw University of Technology, Faculty of Chemistry, Noakowskiego 3, Warszawa 00-664, Poland
2. Medical University of Warsaw, Department of Biophysics and Human Physiology, Chałubińskiego 5, Warszawa 02-004, Poland
3. Hysitron, Munich 85737, Germany


Surface modifications play a crucial role in tissue engineering for bone regeneration. There are many important factors for biomaterials that have to be fulfilled in order to ensure a proper growth and proliferation of bone cells.

In this study the influence of surface mechanical properties on osteoblasts in culture was investigated. Thin dextran films with 8 different thickness were deposited from water solution on silicon wafers. After radiation sterilization Human Bone Derived Cells (HBDC) were seeded under standard conditions. Mechanical properties, i.e. reduced elastic modulus - Er and hardness - H of prepared modifications, were investigated using Hysitron Triboindenter. Reduced elastic modulus was measured both on dry samples as well as on samples dipped in solution of culture medium – DMEM. Mapping of reduced elastic modulus on selected hybrid surfaces was performed.  Cell viability (XTT) was performed after 1 week of culture. 

After Er and H measurements in DMEM we observed swelling effect for 8 layers of dextran. Dextran films consisting of 8 layers were the most elastic and soft. Cell viability was found to be changed depending on the thickness of the dextran deposits.

It is concluded that the elasticity and the topography of the surface influence cell behaviour in direct contact.


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Presentation: Poster at E-MRS Fall Meeting 2008, Symposium L, by Wojciech R. Fabianowski
See On-line Journal of E-MRS Fall Meeting 2008

Submitted: 2008-05-12 18:23
Revised:   2009-06-07 00:48