Controlling cell morphology using amino acid modified cellulose

Eichhorn, Stephen J. and Kalaskar, Deepak and Ulijn, Rein and Gough, Julie E. and Alexander, Morgan and Scurr, David and Sampson, William W. (2009) Controlling cell morphology using amino acid modified cellulose. Abstracts of papers - American Chemical Society, 87 (9). ISSN 0065-7727 (

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This study shows that it is possible to affect the morphology and spreading of fibroblast cells on amino acid-modified cellulose-based fibrous networks. Hydrophilic (Gly, Ser), aliphatic (Ala, Val, Leu, Ile) and aromatic amino acids (Phe, Tyr, Trp), coupled to the cellulose via esterification, give rise to different cell morphologies. Modified cellulosic substrates are analysed using time of flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (TOF-SIMS), demonstrating that amino acids are coupled and uniformly distributed over the surface of the samples. Remarkably, it is shown that it is the aromatic amino acids, and in particular Trp, that give rise to significantly enhanced cell spreading. This enhanced effect is shown to be linked to an increase in the adsorption of fibronectin in the presence of aromatic bound amino acids.