Bioactive Hydrogel Platform to Study Neural Network Formation
There has been an advance in the design of devices that aid or repair human motor functions. Surfaces of these devices are often coated with a polymeric layer which often acts as a physical barrier to prevent integration between host tissue and implants. Therefore, it will be desirable to induce ingrowth of neural network into the polymeric coating layer.
As the first step, we present a design of cell adherent hydrogel which can control cell adhesion. The polymeric hydrogel modified with varied densities of fibronectin or cadherin was used as a model system. We found that types and density of cell adhesion molecules linked to the hydrogel regulate cell adhesion affinity. We expect the resulting hydrodgel platform will potentially serve to engineer the current brain machine interfaces.