Nanotopographic control of neuronal polarity

Aldo Ferrari, Marco Cecchini, Akshay Dhawan, Silvestro Micera, Ilaria Tonazzini, Ripalta Stabile, Dario Pisignano, Fabio Beltram

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

104 Citations (Scopus)
4 Downloads (Pure)


We employ simple geometrical rules to design a set of nanotopographies able to interfere with focal adhesion establishment during neuronal differentiation. Exploiting nanoimprint lithography techniques on cyclic-olefin-copolymer films, we demonstrate that by varying a single topographical parameter the orientation and maturation of focal adhesions can be finely modulated yielding independent control over the final number and the outgrowth direction of neurites. Taken together, this report provides a novel and promising approach to the rational design of biocompatible textured substrates for tissue engineering applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)505-511
Number of pages7
JournalNano Letters
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 9 Feb 2011


  • Cell polarity
  • contact guidance
  • focal adhesions
  • neuron
  • topography

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