Selective cell response on natural polymer bio-interfaces textured by femtosecond laser

Research paper by A. Daskalova, A. Trifonov, I. Bliznakova, C. Nathala, A. Ajami, W. Husinsky, H. Declercq, I. Buchvarov

Indexed on: 04 Feb '18Published on: 03 Feb '18Published in: Applied Physics A


This study reports on the evaluation of laser processed natural polymer-chitosan, which is under consideration as a biointerface used for temporary applications as skin and cartilage substitutes. It is employed for tissue engineering purposes, since it possesses a significant degree of biocompatibility and biodegradability. Chitosan-based thin films were processed by femtosecond laser radiation to enhance the surface properties of the material. Various geometry patterns were produced on polymer surfaces and employed to examine cellular adhesion and orientation. The topography of the modified zones was observed using scanning electron microscopy and confocal microscopy. Test of the material cytotoxicity was performed by evaluating the life/dead cell correlation. The obtained results showed that texturing with femtosecond laser pulses is appropriate method to initiate a predefined cellular response. Formation of surface modifications in the form of foams with an expansion of the material was created under laser irradiation with a number of applied laser pulses from N = 1–5. It is shown that irradiation with N > 5 results in disturbance of microfoam. Material characterization reveals a decrease in water contact angle values after laser irradiation of chitosan films. Consequently, changes in surface roughness of chitosan thin-film surface result in its functionalization. Cultivation of MC3T3 and ATMSC cells show cell orientational migration concerning different surface patterning. The influence of various pulse durations (varying from τ = 30–500 fs) over biofilms surface was examined regarding the evolution of surface morphology. The goal of this study was to define the optimal laser conditions (laser energy, number of applied pulses, and pulse duration) to alter surface wettability properties and porosity to improve material performance. The acquired set of results indicate the way to tune the surface properties to optimize cell–interface interaction.