Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title



Single Layer Graphene (SLG) has emerged as a critically important nanomaterial due to its unique optical and electrical properties and has become a potential candidate for biomedical applications, biosensors, and tissue engineering. Due to its intrinsic 2D nature, SLG is an ideal surface for the development of large-area biosensors and, due to its biocompatibility, can be easily exploited as a substrate for cell growth. The cellular response to SLG has been addressed in different studies with high cellular affinity for graphene often detected. Still, little is known about the molecular mechanism that drives/regulates the cellular adhesion and migration on SLG and SLG-coated interfaces with respect to other substrates. Within this scenario, we used quantitative super-resolution microscopy based on single-molecule localization to study the molecular distribution of adhesion proteins at the nanoscale level in cells growing on SLG and glass. In order to reveal the molecular mechanisms underlying the higher affinity of biological samples on SLG, we exploited stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy (STORM) imaging and cluster analysis, quantifying the super-resolution localization of the adhesion protein vinculin in neurons and clearly highlighting substrate-related correlations. Additionally, a comparison with an epithelial cell line (Chinese Hamster Ovary) revealed a cell dependent mechanism of interaction with SLG.


Adhesion complexes, Biophysics, Graphene, Single molecule localization microscopy, Super-resolution microscopy







Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


© 2021 by the authors.


Archived as published. Open access article. (173 kB)
Supplementary materials

Included in

Biology Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.