Dr. A. Villaverder: “High-Throughput Cell Motility Studies on Surface-Bound Protein Nanoparticles with Diverse Structural and Compositional Characteristics”


ACS Biomater. Sci. Eng.2019




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Eighty areas with different structural and compositional characteristics made of bacterial inclusion bodies formed by the fibroblast growth factor (FGF-IBs) were simultaneously patterned on a glass surface with an evaporation-assisted method that relies on the coffee-drop effect. The resulting surface patterned with these protein nanoparticles enabled to perform a high-throughput study of the motility of NIH-3T3 fibroblasts under different conditions including the gradient steepness, particle concentrations, and area widths of patterned FGF-IBs, using for the data analysis a methodology that includes “heat maps”. From this analysis, we observed that gradients of concentrations of surface-bound FGF-IBs stimulate the total cell movement but do not affect the total net distances traveled by cells. Moreover, cells tend to move toward an optimal intermediate FGF-IB concentration (i.e., cells seeded on areas with high IB concentrations moved toward areas with lower concentrations and vice versa, reaching the optimal concentration). Additionally, a higher motility was obtained when cells were deposited on narrow and highly concentrated areas with IBs. FGF-IBs can be therefore used to enhance and guide cell migration, confirming that the decoration of surfaces with such IB-like protein nanoparticles is a promising platform for regenerative medicine and tissue engineering.