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Viability, Proliferation and Functionality of Hepatocytes Cultured on Self-Assembled Monolayers (SAMs)-Modified Indium Tin Oxide (ITO)

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Hepatocyte-based cell culture platforms find their use in diverse applications ranging from drug toxicity platforms to bioartificial livers. Maintenance of hepatocyte specific functions even for a short duration of time, in vitro, is a major challenge. In this report, we have cultured primary rat hepatocytes on indium tin oxide (ITO) substrates modified with organic self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) containing methyl (–CH3), amino (–NH2), thiol (–SH) terminating groups with different degrees of wettability and surface charge. SAM modified surfaces were characterized using water contact angle measurements and infrared spectroscopy, and the cells were assessed for their viability and functionality using standard assays. Morphological responses of hepatocyte cell culture indicate characteristic cell clustering and the presence of binucleate cells predominantly on ITO, ITO-NH2 and ITO-CH3, but not on ITO-SH surface. The initial attachment of the cells may be attributed to the charge and the hydrophobic nature of the SAM end groups under physiological conditions. Cells proliferate in the presence of L-glutamine and produce Type I collagen and other proteins with low release of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH). These results suggest that SAM-based cell culture platform may be used to have a better understanding of cell-substrate interactions and make a suitable choice of substrate for use in clinical research.


Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1166/jbn.2007.030

Publication date: September 1, 2007

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  • Journal of Biomedical Nanotechnology (JBN) is a peer-reviewed multidisciplinary journal providing broad coverage in all research areas focused on the applications of nanotechnology in medicine, drug delivery systems, infectious disease, biomedical sciences, biotechnology, and all other related fields of life sciences.
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