Authors: Sahitya Chetan Pandanaboina, Karrer M. Alghazali, Zeid A. Nima, Raad A. Alawajji, Krishna Deo Sharma, Fumiya Watanabe, Viney Saini, Alexandru S. Biris, Malathi Srivatsan
Publication: Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology and Medicine, Volume 21, October 2019, 102048
Neurodegenerative diseases and traumatic brain injuries can destroy neurons, resulting in sensory and motor function loss. Transplantation of differentiated neurons from stem cells could help restore such lost functions. Plasmonic gold nanorods (AuNR) were integrated in growth surfaces to stimulate and modulate neural cells in order to tune cell physiology. An AuNR nanocomposite system was fabricated, characterized, and then utilized to study the differentiation of embryonic rat neural stem cells (NSCs). Results demonstrated that this plasmonic surface 1) accelerated differentiation, yielding almost twice as many differentiated neural cells as a traditional NSC culture surface coated with poly-D-lysine and laminin for the same time period; and 2) promoted differentiation of NSCs into neurons and astrocytes in a 2:1 ratio, as evidenced by the expression of relevant marker proteins. These results indicate that the design and properties of this AuNR plasmonic surface would be advantageous for tissue engineering to address neural degeneration.