Fabrication of Artificial Nanobasement Membranes for Cell Compartmentalization in 3D Tissues


In recent decades, tissue engineering techniques have attracted much attention in the construction of 3D tissues or organs. However, even though precise control of cell locations in 3D has been achieved, the organized cell locations are easily destroyed because of the cell migration during the cell culture period. In human body, basement membranes (BMs) maintain the precise cell locations in 3D (compartmentalization). Constructing artificial BMs that mimic the structure and biofunctions of natural BMs remains a major challenge. Here, a nanometer-sized artificial BM through layer-by-layer assembly of collagen type IV (Col-IV) and laminin (LM), chosen because they are the main components of natural BMs, is reported. This multilayered Col-IV/LM nanofilm imitates natural BM structure closely, showing controllable and similar components, thickness, and fibrous network. The Col-IV/LM nanofilms have high cell adhesion properties and maintain the spreading morphology effectively. Furthermore, the barrier effect of preventing cell migration but permitting effective cell-cell crosstalk between fibroblasts and endothelial cells demonstrates the ability of Col-IV/LM nanofilms for cell compartmentalization in 3D tissues, providing more reliable tissue models for evaluating drug efficacy, nanotoxicology, and implantation.



subject category

Chemistry; Science & Technology - Other Topics; Materials Science; Physics


Zeng, JF; Sasaki, N; Correia, CR; Mano, JF; Matsusaki, M

our authors


The authors acknowledge financial support by Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (B) (17H02099) and Bilateral Joint Research Projects of the JSPS and the AMED Grant (JP18be0304207). The authors are also grateful for the financial support of the European Research Council for project ATLAS (grant agreement ERC-2014-ADG-669858) and the project CICECO-Aveiro Institute of Materials, FCT Ref. UID/CTM/50011/2019, supported by national funds through the FCT/MCTES.

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