Spectroscopic translation of cell-material interactions

Josephine Allen, Yang Liu, Young L. Kim, Vladimir M. Turzhitsky, Vadim Backman, Guillermo A. Ameer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The characterization of cellular interactions with a biomaterial surface is important to the development of novel biomaterials. Traditional methods used to characterize processes such as cellular adhesion and differentiation on biomaterials can be time consuming, and destructive, and are not amenable to quantitative assessment in situ. As the development of novel biomaterials shifts towards small-scale, combinatorial, and high throughput approaches, new techniques will be required to rapidly screen and characterize cell/biomaterial interactions. Towards this goal, we assessed the feasibility of using 4-dimensional elastic light-scattering fingerprinting (4D-ELF) to describe the differentiation of human aortic smooth muscle cells (HASMCs), as well as the adhesion, and apoptotic processes of human aortic endothelial cells (HAECs), in a quantitative and non-perturbing manner. HASMC and HAEC were cultured under conditions to induce cell differentiation, attachment, and apoptosis which were evaluated via immunohistochemistry, microscopy, biochemistry, and 4D-ELF. The results show that 4D-ELF detected changes in the size distributions of subcellular organelles and structures that were associated with these specific cellular processes. 4D-ELF is a novel way to assess cell phenotype, strength of adhesion, and the onset of apoptosis on a biomaterial surface and could potentially be used as a rapid and quantitative screening tool to provide a more in-depth understanding of cell/biomaterial interactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)162-174
Number of pages13
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 2007


  • Cell characterization
  • Cell morphology
  • Cell-substrate interaction
  • Light scattering
  • Optics
  • Tissue engineering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Bioengineering
  • Biophysics
  • Biomaterials


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