A major goal of orthopedic biomaterials research is to design better surface chemistries and configurations to control behavior of bone cells such as osteoblasts. Nanostructured architecture significantly affects the response of several cell lines. In this work, nanostructured surfaces were prepared by vapor liquid solid growth of silicon nanowires from size-controlled gold colloid catalysts deposited on fused silica substrates. The lengths and surface densities of the nanowires were varied to assess the effect of these parameters on bone cell response. Osteoblasts were seeded on nanowire surfaces to investigate both short-term adhesion and proliferation and long-term functionality and matrix production. Cell adhesion and proliferation were characterized using a standard 3-[4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl]-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide assay and cell counting for up to 4 days of culture. The total protein content, alkaline phosphatase activity, and matrix production were quantified using standard colorimetric assays for up to 4 weeks of culture. Matrix production was also characterized by measuring surface concentrations of calcium and phosphorus using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. Further, scanning electron microscopy was used to investigate osteoblast morphology on nanostructured surfaces. Over the 4-week study, the nanostructured surfaces demonstrated improved osteoblast adhesion and proliferation and increased alkaline phosphatase activity and matrix production compared to non-nanostructured control surfaces.