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

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  12 March 2013

Daniel Rizzo
Affiliation:
Department of Physics and Astronomy, and Center for Nanoscopic Physics, Tufts University, 4 Colby Street, Medford, MA, 02155, U.S.A.
Ross Beighley
Affiliation:
Department of Physics and Astronomy, and Center for Nanoscopic Physics, Tufts University, 4 Colby Street, Medford, MA, 02155, U.S.A.
James D. White
Affiliation:
Department of Physics and Astronomy, and Center for Nanoscopic Physics, Tufts University, 4 Colby Street, Medford, MA, 02155, U.S.A.
Cristian Staii
Affiliation:
Department of Physics and Astronomy, and Center for Nanoscopic Physics, Tufts University, 4 Colby Street, Medford, MA, 02155, U.S.A.
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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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Copyright
Copyright © Materials Research Society 2013 

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References

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