The way cells explore their surrounding extracellular matrix (ECM) during development and migration is mediated by lamellipodia at their leading edge, acting as an actual motor pulling the cell forward. Lamellipodia are the primary area within the cell of actin microfilaments (filopodia) formation. In this work, we report on the use of porous silicon (pSi) scaffolds to mimic the ECM of mesenchymal stem cells from the dental pulp (DPSC) and breast cancer (MCF-7) cells. Our atomic force microscopy (AFM), fluorescence microscopy, and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) results show that pSi promoted the appearance of lateral filopodia protruding from the DPSC cell body and not only in the lamellipodia area. The formation of elongated lateral actin filaments suggests that pores provided the necessary anchorage points for protrusion growth. Although MCF-7 cells displayed a lower presence of organized actin network on both pSi and nonporous silicon, pSi stimulated the formation of extended cell protrusions.
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