Impact of micropatterned surfaces on neuronal polarity.


Experimental control over cellular polarity in a neuronal network is a promising tool to study synapse formation and network behavior. We aimed to exploit a mechanism described by Stenger et al. [J. Neurosci. Methods 82 (1998) 167] to manipulate the direction of axonal versus dendritic outgrowth on a micropattern. The group had used laser ablation to create patterns of aminated silanes for cell attachment on a background of repellent fluorinated silanes. The pattern offered continuous adhesive pathways for axonal and interrupted pathways for dendritic outgrowth. By microcontact printing, we created similar patterns containing continuous and interrupted pathways consisting of extracellular matrix proteins on a background of polystyrene. Neuronal polarity was determined on the functional level through double patch clamp measurements, detecting synapses and their orientation. Although our pattern reproduced the properties that were assumed to be critical for the described effect, namely contrasting pathways of different adhesiveness, we failed to reproduce the above results. It is indicated that other qualities of alternative pathways than mere differences in adhesiveness are required to orient neuronal polarity in vitro. We suggest that the effect observed by Stenger et al. has to be attributed to less universal characteristics of the micropattern, e.g. to the specific chemical groups that were utilized.

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@article{Vogt2004ImpactOM, title={Impact of micropatterned surfaces on neuronal polarity.}, author={Angela Katrin Vogt and Fernando D Stefani and Andreas Best and Gabriele Nelles and Akio Yasuda and Wolfgang Knoll and Andreas Offenh{\"a}usser}, journal={Journal of neuroscience methods}, year={2004}, volume={134 2}, pages={191-8} }