The compatibility of hepatocytes with chemically modified porous silicon with reference to in vitro biosensors.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Biomaterials, Volume 30, Issue 1, p.26-34 (2009)


Albumins, Animals, Biocompatible Materials, Biosensing Techniques, Cell Adhesion, Cell Survival, Cells, Cultured, Female, Hepatocytes, Optical Phenomena, Polystyrenes, Porosity, Rats, Silicon, Spectroscopy, Fourier Transform Infrared, Surface Properties, Time Factors


Porous Si is a nanostructured material that is of interest for molecular and cell-based biosensing, drug delivery, and tissue engineering applications. Surface chemistry is an important factor determining the stability of porous Si in aqueous media, its affinity for various biomolecular species, and its compatibility with tissues. In this study, the attachment and viability of a primary cell type to porous Si samples containing various surface chemistries is reported, and the ability of the porous Si films to retain their optical reflectivity properties relevant to molecular biosensing is assessed. Four chemical species grafted to the porous Si surface are studied: silicon oxide (via ozone oxidation), dodecyl (via hydrosilylation with dodecene), undecanoic acid (via hydrosilylation with undecylenic acid), and oligo(ethylene) glycol (via hydrosilylation with undecylenic acid followed by an oligo(ethylene) glycol coupling reaction). Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy and contact angle measurements are used to characterize the surface. Adhesion and short-term viability of primary rat hepatocytes on these surfaces, with and without pre-adsorption of collagen type I, are assessed using vital dyes (calcein-AM and ethidium homodimer I). Cell viability on undecanoic acid-terminated porous Si, oxide-terminated porous Si, and oxide-terminated flat (non-porous) Si are monitored by quantification of albumin production over the course of 8 days. The stability of porous Si thin films after 8 days in cell culture is probed by measuring the optical interferometric reflectance spectra. Results show that hepatocytes adhere better to surfaces coated with collagen, and that chemical modification does not exert a deleterious effect on primary rat hepatocytes. The hydrosilylation chemistry greatly improves the stability of porous Si in contact with cultured primary cells while allowing cell coverage levels comparable to standard culture preparations on tissue culture polystyrene.