Axon-First Neuritogenesis on Vertical Nanowires

In this work, we report that high-density, vertically grown silicon nanowires (vg-SiNWs) direct a new in vitro developmental pathway of primary hippocampal neurons. Neurons on vg-SiNWs formed a single, extremely elongated major neurite earlier than minor neurites, which led to accelerated polarization. Additionally, the development of lamellipodia, which generally occurs on 2D culture coverslips, was absent on vg-SiNWs. The results indicate that surface topography is an important factor that influences neuronal development and also provide implications for the role of topography in neuronal development in vivo.