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Cellular Response to Ferroelectric PVDF-TrFE Nanoscale Surfaces Formed by Varying Polymer Concentration

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Poly[(vinylidenefluoride-co-trifluoroethylene] [PVDF(TrFE)], a ferroelectric polymer capable of undergoing strain of up to 7% is both highly chemically resistant and has the advantage of being cytocompatible. Here we present a preliminary study into the response of mesenchymal stem cells to spin-coated PVDF(TrFE) films and examine how the polymer concentration influences electrophysical film properties and cell adhesion. Surface characterization was quantitatively assayed in terms of topography, roughness, wettability and chemistry, while the ferroelectric response of the films was confirmed via electrical probing of the polarization-field hysteresis. At the micron- and nanoscale scale, AFM analysis revealed that PVDF(TrFE) exhibited increased roughness and topographical features with increasing PVDF(TrFE) concentration. PVDF(TrFE) films displayed higher contact angles compared with control glass substrates, as indicated by wettability assay, yet elemental composition was unchanged. Electric field/polarization response analysis revealed films required bias voltages of up 100 v to undergo saturated polarisation hysteresis. Mesenchymal stem cells were cultured on PVDF(TrFE) films for up to 7 days, and assessed by morphometric analysis, focal adhesion quantification and real-time PCR. Cells grown on films formed from 3% w/v PVDF(TrFE) solutions exhibited significantly higher expression of FAK and focal adhesion reinforcement following 1 day of culture, indicating nanoscale roughness in PVDF(TrFE) films as a potent modulator of MSC adhesion to ferroelectric polymers.
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Keywords: Actuator; PVDF-TrFE; ferroelectric; focal adhesions; stem cell; topography

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2014

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  • Pharmaceutical Nanotechnology publishes original manuscripts, reviews, thematic issues, rapid technical notes and commentaries that provide insights into the synthesis, characterisation and pharmaceutical (or diagnostic) application of materials at the nanoscale. The nanoscale is defined as a size range of below 1 µm. Scientific findings related to micro and macro systems with functionality residing within features defined at the nanoscale are also within the scope of the journal. Manuscripts detailing the synthesis, exhaustive characterisation, biological evaluation, clinical testing and/ or toxicological assessment of nanomaterials are of particular interest to the journal’s readership. Articles should be self contained, centred around a well founded hypothesis and should aim to showcase the pharmaceutical/ diagnostic implications of the nanotechnology approach. Manuscripts should aim, wherever possible, to demonstrate the in vivo impact of any nanotechnological intervention. As reducing a material to the nanoscale is capable of fundamentally altering the material’s properties, the journal’s readership is particularly interested in new characterisation techniques and the advanced properties that originate from this size reduction. Both bottom up and top down approaches to the realisation of nanomaterials lie within the scope of the journal.
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