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Interface Focus(2011) 1, 699–701 doi:10.1098/rsfs.2011.0068 Publishedonline 3August2011 I NTRODUCTION Nanoengineering life: from cell to tissue Kuo-Kang Liu1,* and Vincent Chan2 1School of Engineering, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL, UK 2School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 639798, Republic of Singapore Keywords: single-cell analysis; cell adhesion; stem cell; nanomaterials; cytoskeleton remodelling; tissue engineering and regenerative medicine Nanoengineering, which brings several traditional dis- substitutes fororgan transplantandtissuereplacement ciplines including physics, engineering, biology and for meeting the therapeutic needs of the increasingly medicinetogether,isanemergingtoolformanipulating ageingpopulation.However,researchinthismulti-disci- majorconstituentsoflivingorganismssuchascellsand plinarytopicisscatteredinjournalsofvariousareasfrom tissues. Generally, the scopes of nanoengineering tech- physical sciences and engineering to biology and medi- niques include nanomanipulation, nanomeasurement, cine. This makes it difﬁcult for scientists working in nanoﬂuidics, nanomechanics and nanofabrication. thisﬁeldtocollectusefulinformationfortheirresearch.
700 Introduction. Nanoengineering life K.-K. Liu and V. Chan changes in cell morphology and functions. Polymeric ﬁbre dynamics for the generation of cell contraction, nanoﬁbres have recently emerged as promising bioma- which will be of importance for creating functional cell terial scaffolds for tissue regeneration under a highly and tissue substitutes. At the tissue level, the nano- controlled topographical cue. However, only a number mechanical forces also have great potential to alter of researchers around the world can manipulate the biochemicalconstitutionswhichultimatelyaffecttissue surface chemistry of the polymeric nanoﬁbres to a remodelling.Also,Robitailleetal.havedemonstrated level sophisticated enough to generate the integrated the preferential enzymatic degradation of a subset of biochemical/topographic cues in tailored cell/tissue unloaded collagen ﬁbrils within differentially loaded regeneration. Here, Mao and co-workers  describe nativecorneatissuebyusingsmall-anglelightscattering theintelligentuseofsurfacechemistryatthemolecular (SALS) technique. To produce tissue replacements level to modify the interfacial properties of a polymeric which require arrays of collagen ﬁbrils that are highly nanoﬁbre. Most importantly, the group shows that organized at the nanoscale level, modulating strain variationofthesurfacefunctionalityleadstosigniﬁcant and collagenase concentration incorporated with enhancement of the expansion of haematopoietic pro- SALS to control and sculpt collagen architecture in a genitors, an important clinically relevant cell type feedback fashion could potentially beneﬁt tissue which is a very challenging system for conventional remodelling. The technical advancement presented in cell culture. the work could enable large-scale production of Mechanical strength of engineered cell and tissue engineered tissue replacements with an optimized substitutes will depend on molecular bonding, which collagenorganization.