• porous silicon scaffold;
  • xenon difluoride dry etching;
  • mesenchymal stromal cell


Porous silicon shows great promise as a bio-interface material due to its large surface to volume ratio, its stability in aqueous solutions and to the ability to precisely regulate its pore characteristics. In the current study, porous silicon scaffolds were fabricated from single crystalline silicon wafers by a novel xenon difluoride dry etching technique. This simplified dry etch fabrication process allows selective formation of porous silicon using a standard photoresist as mask material and eliminates the post-formation drying step typically required for the wet etching techniques, thereby reducing the risk of damaging the newly formed porous silicon. The porous silicon scaffolds supported the growth of primary cultures of bone marrow derived mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC) plated at high density for up to 21 days in culture with no significant loss of viability, assessed using Alamar Blue. Scanning electron micrographs confirmed a dense lawn of cells at 9 days of culture and the presence of MSC within the pores of the porous silicon scaffolds. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part A: 2011.