AbstractControlling mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) behavior is necessary to fully exploit their therapeutic
potential. Various approaches are employed to effectively influence the migration capacity of MSCs.
Here, topographic microstructures in three different roughness levels (R0: Rq = 0.12 ± 0.04μm, R1: Rq =
3.52 ± 0.26μm, R2: Rq = 16.04 ± 1.24μm) were created on polystyrene (PS) culture vessel surfaces as a
feasible physical preconditioning strategy to modulate MSC migration. By analyzing trajectories of cells
migrating after preconditioning, we demonstrated that mobilization velocity of human adipose derived
mesenchymal stem cells (hADSCs) could be promoted by preconditioning with the appropriate microtopography.
After 7 days preconditioning, migration velocities of the surfaces preconditioned cells were
0.47 ± 0.02 μm/min (R0), 0.54 ± 0.02 μm/min (R1) and 0.45 ± 0.02 μm/min (R2) respectively. Moreover,
different activation levels of focal adhesion kinase (FAK), RhoA and Rac-1 of hADSCs from the three
surfaces were observed. After 7 days preconditioning, the microstructure surface in R1 roughness
significantly increased the phosphorylated FAK level (pFAK/total protein: R1, 1.51 ± 0.11 unit/μg)
compared with the other two surfaces (pFAK/total protein: R0, 1.15 ± 0.03 unit/μg; R2, 1.25 ± 0.04
unit/μg). Meanwhile, the RhoA activity was increased and Rac-1 activity was decreased by
microstructure surface in R1 roughness. Our data indicated that the microstructure preconditioning
promoted cell migration ability via modulating the activation of FAK and Rho family. These findings
underline the potential enhancement of in vivo therapeutic efficacy in regenerative medicine via
transplantation of topographic microstructure preconditioned stem cells.