Polylysine-functionalised thermoresponsive chitosan hydrogel for neural tissue engineering.
Foetal mouse cortical cells were cultured on 2D films and within 3D thermally responsive chitosan/glycerophosphate salt (GP) hydrogels. The biocompatibility of chitosan/GP 2D films was assessed in terms of cell number and neurites per cell. Osmolarity of the hydrogel was a critical factor in promoting cell survival with isotonic GP concentrations providing optimal conditions. To improve cell adhesion and neurite outgrowth, poly-D-lysine (PDL) was immobilised onto chitosan via azidoaniline photocoupling. Increase in PDL concentrations did not alter cell survival in 2D cultures but neurite outgrowth was significantly inhibited. Neurons exhibited a star-like morphology typical of 2D culture systems. The effects of PDL attachment on cell number, cell morphology and neurite outgrowth were more distinct in 3D culture conditions. Neurones exhibited larger cell bodies and sent out single neurites within the macroporous gel. Immobilised PDL improved cell survival up to an optimum concentration of 0.1%, however, further increases resulted in drops in cell number and neurite outgrowth. This was attributed to a higher cell interaction with PDL within a 3D hydrogel compared to the corresponding 2D surface. The results show that thermally responsive chitosan/GP hydrogels provide a suitable 3D scaffolding environment for neural tissue engineering.
Crompton, KE; Goud, JD; Bellamkonda, RV; Gengenbach, TR; Finkelstein, DI; Horne, MK; Forsythe, JS
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