Surface microstructuring and protein patterning using hyaluronan derivatives
Natural polymers, such as hyaluronan, are considered as good candidates to substitute synthetic materials in many biological applications due to their intrinsic biocompatibility for in vitro and living cell experiments.
This work describes surface modifications performed over modified hyaluronan derivatives which could help to understand the physical and biochemical cues on the cell-behaviour. A photocrosslinkable methacrylated hyaluronan was microstructured using soft lithography techniques to obtain a microenvironment suitable for cell-behaviour experiments, which might mimic the extra-cellular matrix. In addition, sulphated and non-sulphated oxidized hyaluronan were immobilized on bare substrates and micrometric features of cell adhesive and non-adhesive proteins were patterned by microcontact printing on top of them. The obtained structures were characterized by optical microscopy, profilometry and atomic force microscopy. The stability of structures was tested by immersion in physiological salt solutions. The observed results prove the suitability of the materials and protocols described.