J Biomed Mater Res A. 2008 Apr 10.

Enhancing neurite outgrowth from primary neurones and neural stem cells using thermoresponsive hydrogel scaffolds for the repair of spinal cord injury.

Nisbet DR, Moses D, Gengenbach TR, Forsythe JS, Finkelstein DI, Horne MK.
Department of Materials Engineering, Division of Biological Engineering, Monash University, Victoria 3800, Australia.

In this study, thermoresponsive xyloglucan hydrogel scaffolds were investigated as candidates for neural tissue engineering of the spinal cord. The hydrogels were optimized to provide similar mechanical properties to that of native spinal cord, although also being functionalized through the immobilization of poly-D-lysine to promote neurone adhesion and neurite outgrowth. Under 2D and 3D culture conditions, xyloglucan scaffolds supported the differentiation of primary cortical neurones. Furthermore, functionalization provided a means of controlling and optimizing the cell diameter, number, migration and the neurite density, and the direction of growth. The interaction of neural stem cells (NSCs) was also investigated on the xyloglucan scaffolds in vitro. The survival of the NSCs and the axonal extensions on the scaffolds were similar to that of the primary cortical neurones. These findings suggest that xyloglucan-based materials are suitable for providing a neurotrophic milieu. (c) 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res, 2008.