Cells can sense and adapt to mechanical properties of their environment. The local geometry of the extracellular matrix, such as its topography, has been shown to modulate cell morphology, migration, and proliferation. Here we investigate the effect of micro/nanotopography on the morphology and cytoskeletal dynamics of human pancreatic tumor-associated fibroblast cells (TAFs). We use arrays of parallel nanoridges with variable spacings on a subcellular scale to investigate the response of TAFs to the topography of their environment. We find that cell shape and stress fiber organization both align along the direction of the nanoridges. Our analysis reveals a strong bimodal relationship between the degree of alignment and the spacing of the nanoridges. Furthermore, focal adhesions align along ridges and form preferentially on top of the ridges. Tracking actin stress fiber movement reveals enhanced dynamics of stress fibers on topographically patterned surfaces. We find that components of the actin cytoskeleton move preferentially along the ridges with a significantly higher velocity along the ridges than on a flat surface. Our results suggest that a complex interplay between the actin cytoskeleton and focal adhesions coordinates the cellular response to micro/nanotopography.

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