American Chemical Society
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Bundle Gel Fibers with a Tunable Microenvironment for in Vitro Neuron Cell Guiding

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journal contribution
posted on 2017-10-31, 00:00 authored by Sayaka Tachizawa, Haruko Takahashi, Young-Jin Kim, Aoi Odawara, Joris Pauty, Yoshiho Ikeuchi, Ikuro Suzuki, Akihiko Kikuchi, Yukiko T. Matsunaga
As scaffolds for neuron cell guiding in vitro, gel fibers with a bundle structure, comprising multiple microfibrils, were fabricated using a microfluidic device system by casting a phase-separating polymer blend solution comprising hydroxypropyl cellulose (HPC) and sodium alginate (Na-Alg). The topology and stiffness of the obtained bundle gel fibers depended on their microstructure derived by the polymer blend ratio of HPC and Na-Alg. High concentrations of Na-Alg led to the formation of small microfibrils in a one-bundle gel fiber and stiff characteristics. These bundle gel fibers permitted for the elongation of the neuron cells along their axon orientation with the long axis of fibers. In addition, human-induced pluripotent-stem-cell-derived dopaminergic neuron progenitor cells were differentiated into neuronal cells on the bundle gels. The bundle gel fibers demonstrated an enormous potential as cell culture scaffold materials with an optimal microenvironment for guiding neuron cells.