Electrospinning was used as an effective route to pattern chitosan (CS) and polycaprolactone (PCL) membranes with submicron fibers having different chemical structure (PCL or PCL/collagen) and physical characteristics (size: between approximate to 200 and 550 nm; randomly oriented or aligned form). While the PCL fibers with diameters in the same range (approximate to 200 nm) were patterned on both of CS and PCL membranes to evaluate the influence of the underlying membrane chemistry, only CS membranes were patterned with PCL fibers having different sizes simply by changing the electrospinning conditions to investigate the effects of pattern characteristics. Furthermore, collagen was added to the PCL fiber structure to change the chemical composition of the fibers in a cell-attractive way. Two cell lines with different morphologies, fibroblastic MC3T3-E1 preosteoblasts and epithelial Madine Darby Bovine Kidney (MDBK) cells, were cultured on the patterned membranes. The observation of cellular behavior in terms of cell morphology and F-actin synthesis was realized by scanning electron microscopy and confocal microscopy analysis during the first 12 h of culture period. The viability of cells was controlled by MTT assay through 96 h of cell culture. The cell culture studies indicated that the leading aspect for the morphology change on patterned membranes was the fiber orientation. The aligned topography controlled the morphology of cells both on CS and PCL membranes. In the presence of collagen in the fiber structure, F-actin filament synthesis increased for MC3T3-E1 and MDBK cell lines. (c) 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part A: 100A:33323343, 2012.