A bio-inspired neural environment to control neurons comprising radial glia, substrate chemistry and topography

Roach, P., Parker, T., Gadegaard, N. and Alexander, M. R. (2013) A bio-inspired neural environment to control neurons comprising radial glia, substrate chemistry and topography. Biomaterials Science, 1, pp. 83-93. (doi:10.1039/C2BM00060A)

Full text not currently available from Enlighten.


Achieving alignment of cells is key to the success of regenerative strategies of neural tissue. We report a high-throughput method to investigate neural cell response to surface chemistry overlaid orthogonally onto a gradient of gradually changing groove widths. Using a bio-inspired approach wherein radial glial cells, which naturally guide neurons in the developing brain, enhance the attachment and directional outgrowth of neurons, we show the differences in the interaction and cellular response of glia, neurons and co-cultured cells. Radial glia were found to preferentially reside in grooves of width 6–35 μm with greater alignment to grooves <10 μm on the hydrophobic and hydrophilic extremes of chemistry. When neurons were sequentially cultured after radial glia, they showed enhanced alignment compared to when they were cultured alone, for all chemistries and groove widths. This is not dependent on co-localisation of the neurons with glia suggesting the radial glial cells pre-condition the substrate giving rise to enhanced attachment and alignment of subsequently cultured neurons. The results indicate a dependence of both primary radial glia and neuron responses on surface chemistry and micro-groove width. Grooved surfaces (width 5–10 μm) of mid-range wettability show the greatest potential to significantly enhance axonal alignment and, therefore, potential regeneration, when pre-conditioned by radial glia, highlighting the importance of surface engineering for neural scaffolds.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Gadegaard, Professor Nikolaj
Authors: Roach, P., Parker, T., Gadegaard, N., and Alexander, M. R.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Biomedical Engineering
Journal Name:Biomaterials Science
Publisher:Royal Society of Chemistry
ISSN (Online):2047-4849

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record