Laser processing of protein films as a method for accomplishment of cell patterning at the microscale.

PMID 28837041


In this study, we propose a photostructuring approach for protein films based on a treatment with nanosecond pulses of a KrF excimer laser. As a model protein we used an amyloid fibril-forming protein. Laser treatment induced a foaming of the sample surface exhibiting an interconnected fibrous mesh with a high degree of control and precision. The surface foaming was well characterized by scanning electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy, laser induced fluorescence and contact angle measurements. The laser irradiated areas of the protein films acquired new morphological and physicochemical properties that could be exploited to fulfill unmet challenges in the tissue engineering field. In this context we subsequently evaluated the response of NIH/3T3 fibroblast cell line on the processed film. Our results show a strong and statistically significant preference for adhesion and proliferation of cells on the irradiated areas compared to the non-irradiated ones. We propose that this strategy can be followed to induce selective cell patterning on protein films at the microscale.