TiO2 Nano-Biopatterning Reveals Optimal Ligand Presentation for Cell–Matrix Adhesion Formation

Kashish Jain, Ashish Pandey, Hao Wang, Taerin Chung, Arash Nemati, Pakorn Kanchanawong, Michael P. Sheetz, Haogang Cai, Rishita Changede

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Nanoscale organization of transmembrane receptors is critical for cellular functions, enabled by the nanoscale engineering of bioligand presentation. Previously, a spatial threshold of ≤60 nm for integrin binding ligands in cell–matrix adhesion is demonstrated using monoliganded gold nanoparticles. However, the ligand geometric arrangement is limited to hexagonal arrays of monoligands, while plasmonic quenching limits further investigation by fluorescence-based high-resolution imaging. Here, these limitations are overcome with dielectric TiO2 nanopatterns, eliminating fluorescence quenching, thus enabling super-resolution fluorescence microscopy on nanopatterns. By dual-color super-resolution imaging, high precision and consistency among nanopatterns, bioligands, and integrin nanoclusters are observed, validating the high quality and integrity of both nanopattern functionalization and passivation. By screening TiO2 nanodiscs with various diameters, an increase in fibroblast cell adhesion, spreading area, and Yes-associated protein (YAP) nuclear localization on 100 nm diameter compared with smaller diameters was observed. Focal adhesion kinase is identified as the regulatory signal. These findings explore the optimal ligand presentation when the minimal requirements are sufficiently fulfilled in the heterogenous extracellular matrix network of isolated binding regions with abundant ligands. Integration of high-fidelity nano-biopatterning with super-resolution imaging allows precise quantitative studies to address early signaling events in response to receptor clustering and their nanoscale organization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAdvanced Materials
StateAccepted/In press - 2024
Externally publishedYes


  • TiO
  • fluorescence quenching
  • integrins
  • nanopatterning
  • super-resolution imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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