Cell attachment on silicon nanostructures

S. Turner, L. Kam, M. Isaacson, H. G. Craighead, W. Shain, J. Turner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

120 Scopus citations


Advances in neural probe technology are currently hindered by a lack of understanding of the cues and mechanisms responsible for rejection and isolation of probes implanted in the central nervous system. To gain additional insight into this topic, the attachment of astrocytes on nanoscale textured silicon surfaces was investigated. Silicon surfaces were textured using a reactive ion etch process designed to produce nanometer-scale columnar structures in silicon ("silicon grass"). Standard photolithographic techniques were used to pattern the surface thereby allowing selective modification of the surface texture by a wet chemical etch for silicon. The resulting surface allowed a side-by-side presentation of different surface textures to cells grown in culture. The silicon surfaces were characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and scanning Auger electron microscopy. The cell attachment and morphology were observed with laser scanning confocal microscopy and SEM. Transformed astrocytes from a continuous cell line showed a preference for wet-etched regions over grassy regions. In contrast, primary cortical astrocytes from neonatal rats showed a preference for silicon grass over the wet-etched surface. For the transformed astrocytes cells, the degree of response was continuous with the degree of wet-etch modification.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2848-2854
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Vacuum Science and Technology B: Microelectronics and Nanometer Structures
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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