Human aortic endothelial cell response to 316L stainless steel material microstructure

Animesh Choubey, Denes Marton, Eugene A. Sprague

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


The role of metal microstructure (e.g. grain sizes) in modulating cell adherence behavior is not well understood. This study investigates the effect of varying grain sizes of 316L stainless steel (SS) on the attachment and spreading of human aortic endothelial cells (HAECs). Four different grain size samples; from 16 to 66 μm (ASTM 9.0-4.9) were sectioned from sheets. Grain structure was revealed by polishing and etching with glycergia. Contact angle measurement was done to assess the hydrophilicity of the specimens. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) were used to characterize the roughness and surface chemistry of the specimens. Cells were seeded on mechanically polished and chemically etched specimens followed by identification of activated focal adhesion sites using fluorescently tagged anti-pFAK (phosphorylated focal adhesion kinase). The 16 μm grain size etched specimens had significantly (P < 0.01) higher number of cells attached per cm2 than other specimens, which may be attributed to the greater grain boundary area and associated higher surface free energy. This study shows that the underlying material microstructure may influence the HAEC behavior and may have important implications in endothelialization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2105-2116
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Materials Science: Materials in Medicine
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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