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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 460870, 18 pages
Review Article

Nanoporous Aluminium Oxide Membranes as Cell Interfaces

Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, Heisenbergstrasse 3, 70569 Stuttgart, Germany

Received 23 November 2012; Accepted 4 January 2013

Academic Editor: Alexandru Vlad

Copyright © 2013 Dorothea Brüggemann. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Nanoporous anodic aluminium oxide (AAO) has become increasingly important in biomedical applications over the past years due to its biocompatibility, increased surface area, and the possibility to tailor this nanomaterial with a wide range of surface modifications. AAO nanopores are formed in an inexpensive anodisation process of pure aluminium, which results in the self-assembly of highly ordered, vertical nanochannels with well-controllable pore diameters, depths, and interpore distances. Because of these outstanding properties AAO nanopores have become excellent candidates as nanostructured substrates for cell-interface studies. In this comprehensive review previous surveys on cell adhesion and proliferation on different AAO nanopore geometries and surface modifications are highlighted and summarised tabularly. Future applications of nanoporous alumina membranes in biotechnology and medicine are also outlined, for instance, the use of nanoporous AAO as implant modifications, coculture substrates, or immunoisolation devices.