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Materials 2014, 7(6), 4628-4639; doi:10.3390/ma7064628

The Micropillar Structure on Silk Fibroin Film Influence Intercellular Connection Mediated by Nanotubular Structures

National Engineering Laboratory for Modern Silk, College of Textile and Clothing Engineering, Soochow University, No. 199 Ren'ai Road, Industrial Park, Suzhou 215123, Jiangsu, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 10 April 2014 / Revised: 28 May 2014 / Accepted: 9 June 2014 / Published: 18 June 2014
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Tunneling nanotubes are important membrane channels for cell-to-cell communication. In this study, we investigated the effect of the microenvironment on nanotubular structures by preparing a three-dimensional silk fibroin micropillar structure. In previous reports, tunneling nanotubes were described as stretched membrane channels between interconnected cells at their nearest distance. They hover freely in the cell culture medium and do not contact with the substratum. Interestingly, the micropillars could provide supporting points for nanotubular connection on silk fibroin films, where nanotubular structure formed a stable anchor at contact points. Consequently, the extension direction of nanotubular structure was affected by the micropillar topography. This result suggests that the hovering tunneling nanotubes in the culture medium will come into contact with the raised roadblock on the substrates during long-distance extension. These findings imply that the surface microtopography of biomaterials have an important influence on cell communication mediated by tunneling nanotubes. View Full-Text
Keywords: micropillars; silk fibroin; tunneling nanotubes; intercellular connection micropillars; silk fibroin; tunneling nanotubes; intercellular connection

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

You, R.; Li, X.; Xu, Y.; Liu, Y.; Lu, S.; Li, M. The Micropillar Structure on Silk Fibroin Film Influence Intercellular Connection Mediated by Nanotubular Structures. Materials 2014, 7, 4628-4639.

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