Aligned nanofibrillar collagen regulates endothelial organization and migration

Edwina S. Lai, Ngan F. Huang, John P. Cooke, Gerald G. Fuller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Aim: Modulating endothelial cell (EC) morphology and motility, with the aim to influence their biology, might be beneficial for the treatment of vascular disease. We examined the effect of nanoscale matrix anisotropy on EC organization and migration for vascular tissue engineering applications. Materials & methods: We developed a flow processing technique to generate anisotropic nanofibrillar collagen. Human ECs were cultured on aligned or on randomly oriented collagen, and their cellular alignment and cytoskeletal organization were characterized by immunofluorescence staining and time-lapse microscopy. Results: ECs were elongated along the direction of aligned collagen nanofibrils and had organized focal adhesions. Cellular protrusion migrated with greater directionality and higher velocity along the anisotropic nanofibrils compared with cells on random nanofibrils. The flow technique can be adapted to fabricate vascular grafts that support the endothelial phenotype. Conclusion: Aligned nanofibrillar collagen regulates EC organization and migration, which can significantly contribute to the development of vascular grafts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)649-661
Number of pages13
JournalRegenerative Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2012


  • anisotropy
  • cell patterning
  • cell-matrix interactions
  • endothelial cell
  • endothelial migration
  • nanofibrillar collagen
  • patterning
  • vascular graft

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Embryology


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