Mechanobiology of dental pulp stem cells at the interface of aqueous-based fabricated ZIF8 thin film

Fatemeh Ejeian, Elnaz Haghani, Mohammad Hossein Nasr-Esfahani, Mohsen Asadnia, Amir Razmjou, Vicki Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The limited knowledge on how biological systems sense and respond to the mechanical properties of metal-organic framework (MOF) thin films is a critical restriction factor for their extensive usage. To bridge this gap, we performed an in vitro study for defining and linking surface characteristics at the interface of the zeolitic imidazolate framework-8 (ZIF8) thin layer to stem cell behavior. First, the physio-mechanical properties of the ZIF8 layer grown on polydopamine (PDA) and tannic acid (TA) layers have been studied. The response of dental pulp stem cells (DPSCs) to different surface states was examined. The results showed that the uniform crystalline microstructure of the ZIF8 on PDA and TA effectively led to the 61- and 388-fold increased surface roughness, 3- and 2.5-fold moderated elastic modulus, almost 3-fold elevated surface free energy, and highly charged surfaces (ζ = -60 mV for TA/ZIF8), respectively. Beyond the inherent bioactivity of the ZIF8 layer, these substrate cues promoted advanced cell adhesion (∼two times) and high proliferation rate. Furthermore, we found a substantial increment in the differentiation efficiency of DPSCs on the ZIF8 layer, in a way that the expression of functional adipocyte (PPARG) and osteoblast (SPP1) markers was, respectively, elevated around 30 »000- and 10 »000-fold on the TA/ZIF8-coated silicon wafer (SW). Our findings support the impact of fabrication strategy on the biointerface properties of the ZIF8 layer and bring SW/TA/ZIF8 as a robust platform for managing stem cells for biomedical applications.

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4885-4895
Number of pages11
JournalACS Applied Bio Materials
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jun 2021


  • surface modification
  • mechanobiology
  • metal-organic frameworks
  • mesenchymal stem cells
  • ZIF8


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