A facile and robust method to align one-dimensional (1D) nanoparticles (NPs) in large scale has been developed. Using flow assembly, representative rod-like nanoparticles, including tobacco mosaic virus (TMV), gold nanorods, and bacteriophage M13, have been aligned inside glass tubes by controlling flow rate and substrate surface properties. The properties of 1D NPs, namely rigidity and aspect ratio, play a critical role in the alignment. Furthermore, these hierarchically organized structures can be used to support cell growth and control the cell orientation. C2C12 myoblasts were cultured on surfaces coated with aligned TMV. The topographic features were able to promote myogenic differentiation and guide the myotubes orientation. Moreover, genetically modified TMV mutants with reported cell adhesion sequences aligned in capillaries were able to promote and guide neurite outgrowth in differentiating N2a neuroblastoma cells. Given that this method could be achieved in biodegradable polymer capillaries, it has the potential application in the repair of peripheral nerve injury, as a neural conduit.
South Dakota School of Mines and Technology
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