Ultrasoft Alginate Hydrogels Support Long-Term Three-Dimensional Functional Neuronal Networks

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Author(s) Palazzolo, Gemma, Broguiere, Nicolas, Cenciarelli, Orlando, Dermutz, Harald, Zenobi-Wong, Marcy
Publication Type Journal Items, Publication Status: Published
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Title Ultrasoft Alginate Hydrogels Support Long-Term Three-Dimensional Functional Neuronal Networks
Author(s) Palazzolo, Gemma
Broguiere, Nicolas
Cenciarelli, Orlando
Dermutz, Harald
Zenobi-Wong, Marcy
Journal or Series Title Tissue Engineering. Part A
Volume Number 21
Issue Number 15-16
Start Page 2177
End Page 2185
ISSN 1937-3341
Publisher Mary Ann Liebert
Publication Place New Rochelle, NY
Publication Date 2015-08
Abstract Neuron development and function are exquisitely sensitive to the mechanical properties of their surroundings. Three-dimensional (3D) cultures are therefore being explored as they better mimic the features of the native extracellular matrix. Limitations of existing 3D culture models include poorly defined composition, rapid degradation, and suboptimal biocompatibility. Here we show that ionically cross-linked ultrasoft hydrogels made from unmodified alginate can potently promote neuritogenesis. Alginate hydrogels were characterized mechanically and a remarkable range of stiffness (10–4000 Pa) could be produced by varying the macromer content (0.1–0.4% w/v) and CaCl2 concentration. Dissociated rat embryonic cortical neurons encapsulated within the softest of the hydrogels (0.1% w/v, 10 mM CaCl2) showed excellent viability, extensive formation of axons and dendrites, and long-term activity as determined by calcium imaging. In conclusion, alginate is an off-the-shelf, easy to handle, and inexpensive material, which can be used to make ultrasoft hydrogels for the formation of stable and functional 3D neuronal networks. This 3D culture system could have important applications in neuropharmacology, toxicology, and regenerative medicine.
DOI 10.1089/ten.tea.2014.0518
Additional Notes Received 31 August 2014, Accepted 23 April 2015, Published online 27 May 2015
Document Type Article
Publication Status Published
Language English
Assigned Organisational Unit(s) 03949
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NEBIS System Number 005837030
Source Database ID FORM-1443646779
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  author = "Palazzolo, Gemma and Broguiere, Nicolas and Cenciarelli, Orlando and Dermutz, Harald and Zenobi-Wong, Marcy",
  title = "{U}ltrasoft {A}lginate {H}ydrogels {S}upport {L}ong-{T}erm {T}hree-{D}imensional {F}unctional {N}euronal {N}etworks",
  journal = "Tissue Engineering. Part A",
  year = 2015,
  volume = "21",
  number = "15-16",
  pages = "2177--2185",
  month = aug,

E-Citations record created: Wed, 30 Sep 2015, 20:59:46 CET