Authors: Alghazali KM, Hamzah RN, Nima ZA, Steiner R, Dhar M, Anderson DE, Hayar A, Griffin RJ, Biris AS.
Publication: Nanomaterials (Basel). 2019 Jul 18;9(7). pii: E1029. doi: 10.3390/nano9071029.
Gold nanosystems have been investigated extensively for a variety of applications, from specific cancer cell targeting to tissue regeneration. Specifically, a recent and exciting focus has been the gold nanosystems’ interface with neuronal biology. Researchers are investigating the ability to use these systems neuronal applications ranging from the enhancement of stem cell differentiation and therapy to stimulation or inhibition of neuronal activity. Most of these new areas of research are based on the integration of the plasmonic properties of such nanosystems into complex synthetic extracellular matrices (ECM) that can interact and affect positively the activity of neuronal cells. Therefore, the ability to integrate the plasmonic properties of these nanoparticles into multidimensional and morphological structures to support cellular proliferation and activity is potentially of great interest, particularly to address medical conditions that are currently not fully treatable. This review discusses some of the promising developments and unique capabilities offered by the integration of plasmonic nanosystems into morphologically complex ECM devices, designed to control and study the activity of neuronal cells.