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Controlling neuronal growth and connectivity via directed self-assembly of proteins

  • Daniel Rizzo (a1), Ross Beighley (a1), James D. White (a1) and Cristian Staii (a1)

Abstract

Materials that offer the ability to influence tissue regeneration are of vital importance to the field of Tissue Engineering. Because valid 3-dimensional scaffolds for nerve tissue are still in development, advances with 2-dimensional surfaces in vitro are necessary to provide a complete understanding of controlling regeneration. Here we present a method for controlling nerve cell growth on Au electrodes using Atomic Force Microscopy -aided protein assembly. After coating a gold surface in a self-assembling monolayer of alkanethiols, the Atomic Force Microscope tip can be used to remove regions of the self-assembling monolayer in order to produce well-defined patterns. If this process is then followed by submersion of the sample into a solution containing neuro-compatible proteins, they will self assemble on these exposed regions of gold, creating well-specified regions for promoted neuron growth.

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Keywords

Controlling neuronal growth and connectivity via directed self-assembly of proteins

  • Daniel Rizzo (a1), Ross Beighley (a1), James D. White (a1) and Cristian Staii (a1)

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