Strong contact coupling of neuronal growth cones with height-controlled vertical silicon nanocolumns

Seong Min Kim, Seyeong Lee, Dongyoon Kim, Dong Hee Kang, Kisuk Yang, Seung Woo Cho, Jin Seok Lee, Insung S. Choi, Kyungtae Kang, Myung Han Yoon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, we report that height-controlled vertically etched silicon nano-column arrays (vSNAs) induce strong growth cone-to-substrate coupling and accelerate In vitroneurite development while preserving the essential features of initial neurite formation. Large-scale preparation of vSNAs with flat head morphology enabled the generation of well-controlled topographical stimulation without cellular impalement. A systematic analysis on topography-induced variations on cellular morphology and cytoskeletal dynamics was conducted. In addition, neurite development on the grid-patterned vSNAs exhibited preferential adhesion to the nanostructured region and outgrowth directionality. The arrangement of cytoskeletal proteins and the expression of a focal adhesion complex indicated that a strong coupling existed between the underlying nanocolumns and growth cones. Furthermore, the height-controlled nanocolumn substrates differentially modulated neurite polarization and elongation. Our findings provide an important insight into neuron-nanotopography interactions and their role in cell adhesion and neurite development. [Figure not available: see fulltext.].

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2532-2543
Number of pages12
JournalNano Research
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2018 May 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Basic Science Research Program and the Pioneer Research Center Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT & Future Planning (Nos. NRF-2013R1A1A107-6103, NRF-2012R1A3A2026403, and NRF-2012-000-9664), and also by the GIST Research Institute (GRI) in 2016.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, Tsinghua University Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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