GSBS Student Publications


Effect of substrate mechanics on chondrocyte adhesion to modified alginate surfaces

GSBS Program

Biochemistry & Molecular Pharmacology

UMMS Affiliation

Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences; Center for Tissue Engineering



Document Type


Medical Subject Headings

Alginates; Amino Acid Sequence; Animals; Barium; Biocompatible Materials; Calcium; Cattle; Cell Adhesion; Chondrocytes; Cross-Linking Reagents; Cytochalasin D; Dose-Response Relationship, Drug; Kinetics; Microscopy, Electron, Scanning; Oligopeptides; Surface Properties


Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences


This study characterized the attachment of chondrocytes to RGD-functionalized alginate by examining the effect of substrate stiffness on cell attachment and morphology. Bovine chondrocytes were added to wells coated with 2% alginate or RGD-alginate. The alginate was crosslinked with divalent cations ranging from 1.25 to 62.5 mmol/g alginate. Attachment to RGD-alginate was 10-20 times higher than attachment to unmodified alginate and was significantly inhibited by antibodies to integrin subunits alpha3l and beta1, cytochalasin-D, and soluble RGD peptide. The equilibrium level and rate of attachment increased with crosslink density and substrate stiffness. Substrate stiffness also regulated chondrocyte morphology, which changed from a rounded shape with nebulous actin on weaker substrates to a predominantly flat morphology with actin stress fibers on stiffer substrates. The dependence of attachment on integrins and substrate stiffness suggests that chondrocyte integrins may play a role in sensing the mechanical properties of the matrices to which they are attached.

Rights and Permissions

Citation: Arch Biochem Biophys. 2004 Feb 15;422(2):161-7. Link to article on publisher's site

DOI of Published Version


Related Resources

Link to article in PubMed

Journal Title

Archives of biochemistry and biophysics

PubMed ID