3D culture of adult mouse neural stem cells within functionalized self-assembling peptide scaffolds
Carla Cunha1,2, Silvia Panseri3,4, Omar Villa1,2, Diego Silva1,2, Fabrizio Gelain1,2
1Department of Biotechnology and Biosciences, University of Milano-Bicocca; 2Center for Nanomedicine and Tissue Engineering, CNTE – A.O. Ospedale Niguarda Ca' Granda, Milan; 3Laboratory of Biomechanics and Technology Innovation, Rizzoli Orthopaedic Institute, Bologna; 4Laboratory of Nano-Biomagnetism, Institute of Science and Technology for Ceramics, National Research Council, Faenza, Italy
Abstract: Three-dimensional (3D) in vitro models of cell culture aim to fill the gap between the standard two-dimensional cell studies and the in vivo environment. Especially for neural tissue regeneration approaches where there is little regenerative capacity, these models are important for mimicking the extracellular matrix in providing support, allowing the natural flow of oxygen, nutrients, and growth factors, and possibly favoring neural cell regrowth. We have previously demonstrated that a new self-assembling nanostructured biomaterial, based on matrigel, was able to support adult neural stem cell (NSC) culture. In this study, we developed a new 3D cell culture system that takes advantage of the nano- and microfiber assembling process, under physiologic conditions, of these biomaterials. The assembled scaffold forms an intricate and biologically active matrix that displays specifically designed functional motifs: RGD (Arg-Gly-Asp), BMHP1 (bone marrow homing peptide 1), and BMHP2, for the culture of adult NSCs. These scaffolds were prepared at different concentrations, and microscopic examination of the cell-embedded scaffolds showed that NSCs are viable and they proliferate and differentiate within the nanostructured environment of the scaffold. Such a model has the potential to be tailored to develop ad hoc designed peptides for specific cell lines.
Keywords: biomaterials, tissue engineering, 3D in vitro model
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