In this article, we examined the feasibility of using 3,4-dihydroxy-L-phenylalanine (DOPA) as a cell adhesion molecule in serum-free cultures of anchorage-dependent mammalian cells. DOPA is a critical, functional element in mussel adhesive proteins and is known to bind strongly to various natural or synthetic materials. DOPA coating on culture plates was confirmed using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and energy-dispersive spectroscopy. Human dermal fibroblasts (HDFs) were cultured on DOPA-coated, fibronectin-coated, or no material-coated culture plates in serum-free medium. HDFs cultured on DOPA showed the highest cell adhesion ratio, spreading, and viability but the lowest apoptotic activity. Therefore, DOPA may be a useful cell-adhesion molecule for serum-free culture. © 2012 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Biotechnol. Prog., 28: 1055–1060, 2012
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