Inverted colloidal crystals as three-dimensional cell scaffolds

Nicholas A. Kotov, Yuanfang Liu, Shaopeng Wang, Colin Cumming, Mohammad Eghtedari, Gracie Vargas, Massoud Motamedi, Joan Nichols, Joaquin Cortiella

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

144 Scopus citations


A new type of three-dimensional scaffold with inverted colloidal crystal geometry for the investigation of topological effects in cell cultures is introduced in this publication. The scaffolds are made by infiltration of the hexagonal crystal lattice of polystyrene spheres with sol-gel formulation and subsequent annealing. It possesses a relatively high degree of order among existing cell scaffolds and affords tight control over the scaffold porosity and tissue organization. The prepared scaffolds can be a convenient system for the investigation of cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions. Their biocompatibility is demonstrated for human hepatocellular carcinoma HEP G2 and human bone marrow HS-5 cell cultures. A preliminary effect of the scaffold topology on cell proliferation is observed. HEP G2 hepatocytes form a large number of 10-15 cell colonies on scaffolds made from 75-μm spheres, while their number diminishes for scaffolds from 10- and 160-μm spheres. Under similar conditions, HS-5 forms smaller colonies consisting of three to four cells in 90-μm cavities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7887-7892
Number of pages6
Issue number19
StatePublished - Sep 14 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Spectroscopy
  • Electrochemistry


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