Surface micro- and nano-texturing of stainless steel by femtosecond laser for the control of cell migration
The precise control over the interaction between cells and the surface of materials plays a crucial role in optimizing the integration of implanted biomaterials. In this regard, material surface with controlled topographic features at the micro- and nano-scales has been proved to affect the overall cell behavior and therefore the final osseointegration of implants. Within this context, femtosecond (fs) laser micro/nano machining technology was used in this work to modify the surface structure of stainless steel aiming at controlling cell adhesion and migration. The experimental results show that cells tend to attach and preferentially align to the laser-induced nanopatterns oriented in a specific direction. Accordingly, the laser-based fabrication method here described constitutes a simple, clean, and scalable technique which allows a precise control of the surface nano-patterning process and, subsequently, enables the control of cell adhesion, migration, and polarization. Moreover, since our surface-patterning approach does not involve any chemical treatments and is performed in a single step process, it could in principle be applied to most metallic materials.