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Materials 2016, 9(4), 256; doi:10.3390/ma9040256

ZnO Nanostructure Templates as a Cost-Efficient Mass-Producible Route for the Development of Cellular Networks

Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, NCSR “Demokritos”, Aghia Paraskevi, Athens 153 10, Greece
Nanobiosensorics Momentum Group, Institute of Technical Physics and Materials Science, Centre for Energy Research, Budapest 1121, Hungary
Doctoral School of Molecular- and Nanotechnologies, University of Pannonia, Veszprém 8200, Hungary
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Xiaodong Huang
Received: 26 February 2016 / Revised: 18 March 2016 / Accepted: 18 March 2016 / Published: 31 March 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cellular Materials: Design and Optimisation)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [15479 KB, uploaded 31 March 2016]   |  


The development of artificial surfaces which can regulate or trigger specific functions of living cells, and which are capable of inducing in vivo-like cell behaviors under in vitro conditions has been a long-sought goal over the past twenty years. In this work, an alternative, facile and cost-efficient method for mass-producible cellular templates is presented. The proposed methodology consists of a cost-efficient, two-step, all-wet technique capable of producing ZnO-based nanostructures on predefined patterns on a variety of substrates. ZnO—apart from the fact that it is a biocompatible material—was chosen because of its multifunctional nature which has rendered it a versatile material employed in a wide range of applications. Si, Si3N4, emulated microelectrode arrays and conventional glass cover slips were patterned at the micrometer scale and the patterns were filled with ZnO nanostructures. Using HeLa cells, we demonstrated that the fabricated nanotopographical features could promote guided cellular adhesion on the pre-defined micron-scale patterns only through nanomechanical cues without the need for further surface activation or modification. The basic steps of the micro/nanofabrication are presented and the results from the cell adhesion experiments are discussed, showing the potential of the suggested methodology for creating low-cost templates for engineered cellular networks. View Full-Text
Keywords: ZnO nanostructures; HeLa cells; selective adhesion; engineered cellular networks; nanotopography ZnO nanostructures; HeLa cells; selective adhesion; engineered cellular networks; nanotopography

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Makarona, E.; Peter, B.; Szekacs, I.; Tsamis, C.; Horvath, R. ZnO Nanostructure Templates as a Cost-Efficient Mass-Producible Route for the Development of Cellular Networks. Materials 2016, 9, 256.

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