Modification of topography is an effective tool to control the cellular response such as cell function, adhesion and proliferation on surfaces. In this work, we present a novel method for fabrication of periodic surface structures by laser interference patterning (LIP) of biphasic Al/Al2O3 nanowires (NWs). These structures have a periodicity of 1–8 µm and a depth of 300–600 nm, depending on the incidence angle of the laser beam. Such hierarchical structures are composed of both micro- and nanofeatures. These periodic patterns lead to an alignment of glial cells and an axonal guidance from cultured dorsal root ganglia (DRG), along defined directions. The most pronounced alignment was seen at a periodicity of 2 µm.
(a) Random growth of neurites on as-deposited chaotic NWs. (b) Aligned growth of neurites on patterned NWs.