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Cell transplantation is a promising therapy for a myriad of debilitating diseases; however, current delivery protocols using direct injection result in poor cell viability. We demonstrate that during the actual cell injection process, mechanical membrane disruption results in significant acute loss of viability at clinically relevant injection rates. As a(More)
The design of bioactive materials allows tailored studies probing cell-biomaterial interactions, however, relatively few studies have examined the effects of ligand density and material stiffness on neurite growth in three-dimensions. Elastin-like proteins (ELPs) have been designed with modular bioactive and structural regions to enable the systematic(More)
The use of biomaterials, such as hydrogels, as neural cell delivery devices is becoming more common in areas of research such as stroke, traumatic brain injury, and spinal cord injury. When reviewing the available research there is some ambiguity in the type of materials used and results are often at odds. This review aims to provide the neuroscience(More)
Neural precursor cells (NPCs) are a renewable cell source that may be useful for neural cell transplant therapies. Their expansion and differentiation potential have traditionally been explored by culturing them on stiff tissue culture polystyrene. Here we describe advantages of an alternative culture system: bio-inert poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) hydrogels.(More)
Native tissues provide cells with complex, three-dimensional (3D) environments comprised of hydrated networks of extracellular matrix proteins and sugars. By mimicking the dimensionality of native tissue while deconstructing the effects of environmental parameters, protein-based hydrogels serve as attractive, in vitro platforms to investigate cell-matrix(More)
Tailored delivery of neurotrophic factors (NFs) is a critical challenge that continues to inhibit strategies for guidance of axonal growth in vivo. Of particular importance is the ability to recreate innervation of distant brain regions by transplant tissue, for instance rebuilding the nigrostriatal track, one focus in Parkinson's disease research. Many(More)
The native stem cell niche is a dynamic and complex microenvironment. Recapitulating this niche is a critical focus within the fields of stem cell biology, tissue engineering, and regenerative medicine and requires the development of well-defined, tunable materials. Recent biomaterial design strategies seek to create engineered matrices that interact with(More)
Biomaterials prepared from polyesters of lactic acid and glycolic acid, or a mixture of the two, degrade in the presence of water into the naturally occurring metabolites, lactic acid and glycolic acid. While the lactic acid degradation product that is released from biomaterials is well tolerated by the body, lactic acid can influence the metabolic function(More)
Degradable polymers have been used successfully in a wide variety of peripheral applications from tissue regeneration to drug delivery. These polymers induce little inflammatory response and appear to be well accepted by the host environment. Their use in the brain, for neural tissue reconstruction or drug delivery, also could be advantageous in treating(More)
Hydrogels that degrade at different rates were prepared by copolymerizing slowly degrading macromer poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) dimethacrylate with a faster degrading macromer poly(lactic acid)-b-PEG-b-poly(lactic acid) dimethacrylate. A clinically relevant population of neural cells composed of differentiated neurons and multipotent precursor cells was(More)