Topographic cues of nano-scale height direct neuronal growth pattern

Koby Baranes, Nathan Chejanovsky, Noa Alon, Amos Sharoni, Orit Shefi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

80 Scopus citations


We study the role of nano-scale cues in controlling neuronal growth. We use photolithography to fabricate substrates with repeatable line-pattern ridges of nano-scale heights. We find that neuronal processes, which are of micron size, have strong interactions with ridges even as low as 10nm. The interaction between the neuronal process and the ridge leads to a deflection of growth direction and a preferred alignment with the ridges. The interaction strength clearly depends on the ridges' height. For 25nm ridges approximately half of the neuronal processes are modified, while at 100nm the majority of neurites change their original growth direction post interaction. In addition, the effect on growth correlates with the incoming angle between the neuronal process and the ridge. We underline the adhesion as a key mechanism in directing neuronal growth. Our study highlights the sensitivity of growing neurites to nano-scale cues thus opens a new avenue of research for pre-designed neuronal growth and circuitry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1791-1797
Number of pages7
JournalBiotechnology and Bioengineering
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2012


  • Cell culture
  • Nano-scale ridges
  • Nerve guide
  • Neuron growth
  • Photolithography
  • Topographic cues


Dive into the research topics of 'Topographic cues of nano-scale height direct neuronal growth pattern'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this