Cellular adhesion to graphene

The mechanisms of cellular growth has attracted scientists’ attention for a long time [Kenry, Lee, Loh, Lim. Biomaterials, 155, 236-250, (2018)]. In the quest to understand how this complex biological process occurs, recent investigations have focused on artificial growth of stem cells atop of inorganic surfaces such as graphene. It became apparent that certain proteins are likely responsible for holding cells on top of graphene surfaces, fibronectin being one of them.

In an ongoing investigation [Frederiksen, Solov’yov, (2018)] we study the adhesion of fibronectin to graphene through simulations as pictured in Figure 1.

The investigation is made to show that fibronectin has a binding affinity to graphene, which in the long run could indicate that cell growth outside the human body is possible, which in turn would lead to huge applications in biomedicine.

Fibronectin on top of graphene sheets with the five closest arginine residues highlighted
Figure 1: Fibronectin on top of graphene sheets with the five closest arginine residues highlighted