Electroactive marine collagen scaffolds are a sustainable biomaterial for developing neural stem cell implants

Mutepfa, Anthea and Adams, Christopher and Hardy, John (2022) Electroactive marine collagen scaffolds are a sustainable biomaterial for developing neural stem cell implants. In: United Kingdom Society for Biomaterials Annual Symposium 2022, 2022-06-272022-06-28, University of Sheffield.

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Spinal cord injury (SCI) is a serious condition caused by damage to the spinal cord through trauma or disease, often with permanent debilitating effects. Despite a lack of effective treatments for SCI, cell therapy remains as the most promising option. The advent of biomaterials has increased the potential of cell therapy through improving cell survival and retention. Whilst medical grade mammalian collagen biomaterials exist for applications such as wound healing, marine collagen (MC) presents as an attractive alternative to the latter in that it carries no risk of bovine spongiform encephalopathy transmission, has similar immunogenicity and is more sustainable to source. However, it has yet to be tested for neural applications. In this study, we investigated the potential of functionalised electroactive Jellagen®, a MC biomaterial, in maintaining key regenerative features of neural stem cells (NSCs) including viability, proliferation and differentiation. It was hypothesized that electroactive Jellagen® would not affect the key regenerative features of NSCs in our cell culture model. NSCs were obtained from P0-P3 mice and expanded as neurospheres in culture. The cells were plated and maintained in monolayer medium for 5 days on glass controls, inert Jellagen® and electroactive Jellagen® scaffold slices. A viability assay, proliferation assay and immunocytochemistry were performed to compare the health and characteristics of the cells. A subset of the NSCs were induced in differentiation medium for a further 7 days prior to performing the viability assay, proliferation assay and immunocytochemistry. Descriptive statistics were obtained and the control and experiment groups were compared to each other using the one-way analysis of variance. A p value of The cells on electroactive Jellagen® substrates showed a high viability. Differentiation was not affected and proliferation followed similar trends in all groups. For the first time we report a protocol to functionalise MC scaffolds with a conductive component and data that suggests electroactive MC is neuro-compatible with murine-derived primary NSCs in culture. The data supports the future exploration and development of MC in neural tissue engineering applications.

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Contribution to Conference (Poster)
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United Kingdom Society for Biomaterials Annual Symposium 2022
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28 Feb 2023 16:10
Last Modified:
08 Oct 2023 00:35