Immobilized laminin concentration gradients on electrospun fiber scaffolds for controlled neurite outgrowth.


Neuronal process growth is guided by extrinsic environmental cues such as extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins. Recent reports have described that the growth cone extension is superior across gradients of the ECM protein laminin compared to growth across uniformly distributed laminin. In this work, the authors have prepared gradients of laminin on aligned electrospun nanofibers for use as substrates for neuronal growth. The substrates therefore presented both topographical and chemical guidance cues. Step gradients were prepared by the controlled robotic immersion of plasma-treated polycaprolactone fibers reacted with N-hydroxysuccinimide into the protein solution. The gradients were analyzed using x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and confocal laser scanning microscopy. Gradients with a dynamic range of protein concentrations were successfully generated and neurite outgrowth was evaluated using neuronlike pheochromocytoma cell line 12 (PC12) cells. After 10 days of culture, PC12 neurite lengths varied from 32.7 ± 14.2 μm to 76.3 ± 9.1 μm across the protein concentration gradient. Neurite lengths at the highest concentration end of the gradient were significantly longer than neurite lengths observed for cells cultured on samples with uniform protein coverage. Gradients were prepared both in the fiber direction and transverse to the fiber direction. Neurites preferentially aligned with the fiber direction in both cases indicating that fiber alignment has a more dominant role in controlling neurite orientation, compared to the chemical gradient.

DOI: 10.1116/1.4857295

Cite this paper

@article{Zander2014ImmobilizedLC, title={Immobilized laminin concentration gradients on electrospun fiber scaffolds for controlled neurite outgrowth.}, author={Nicole E. Zander and Thomas P. Beebe}, journal={Biointerphases}, year={2014}, volume={9 1}, pages={011003} }