Morphological Differentiation of Neurons on Microtopographic Substrates Fabricated by Rolled-Up Nanotechnology

Authors

  • Sabine Schulze,

    1. Institute for Integrative Nanosciences, IFW Dresden, Helmholtzstr. 20, D-01069 Dresden, Germany
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  • Gaoshan Huang,

    1. Institute for Integrative Nanosciences, IFW Dresden, Helmholtzstr. 20, D-01069 Dresden, Germany
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  • Matthias Krause,

    1. Randall Division of Cell & Molecular Biophysics, King's College London, London SE1 1UL, UK
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  • Deborah Aubyn,

    1. Light Microscopy Laboratory, Cancer Research UK, London Research Institute, 44 Lincoln's Inn Fields, London WC2A 3PX, UK
    2. Current address: National Cancer Institute, NIH, 41 Library Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892, US
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  • Vladimir A. Bolaños Quiñones,

    1. Institute for Integrative Nanosciences, IFW Dresden, Helmholtzstr. 20, D-01069 Dresden, Germany
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  • Christine K. Schmidt,

    Corresponding author
    1. Chromosome Segregation Laboratory, Cancer Research UK, London Research Institute, London WC2A 3PX, UK
    2. National Cancer Institute, NIH, 41 Library, Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892, US
    • Christine K. Schmidt, National Cancer Institute, NIH, 41 Library, Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892, US.===

      Yongfeng Mei, Institute for Integrative Nanosciences, IFW Dresden, Helmholtzstr. 20, D-01069 Dresden, Germany.===

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  • Yongfeng Mei,

    Corresponding author
    1. Institute for Integrative Nanosciences, IFW Dresden, Helmholtzstr. 20, D-01069 Dresden, Germany
    • Christine K. Schmidt, National Cancer Institute, NIH, 41 Library, Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892, US.===

      Yongfeng Mei, Institute for Integrative Nanosciences, IFW Dresden, Helmholtzstr. 20, D-01069 Dresden, Germany.===

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  • Oliver G. Schmidt

    1. Institute for Integrative Nanosciences, IFW Dresden, Helmholtzstr. 20, D-01069 Dresden, Germany
    2. Material Systems for Nanoelectronics, Chemnitz University of Technology, Reichenhainer Strasse 70, 09107 Chemnitz, Germany
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  • Acknowledgements: We acknowledge Dr. Frank Uhlmann for hosting our biological experiments, Dr. Ina Weisswange for imaging advice, Emica Coric and Anne Weston for SEM measurements and Guillermo Menendez and Anna Wade for kindly providing us with primary mouse neurons. This work was financially supported by a grant from the Volkswagen Foundation (I/84 072) and partial support from the Germany/Hong Kong Joint Research Scheme (Grant No. 426/hk-PPP-cab). MK is supported by funds from a Wellcome Trust University Award (077429/Z/05/Z).

Abstract

Arrays of transparent rolled-up microtubes can easily be mass-produced using a combination of conventional photolithography, electron beam depositioning, and chemical etching techniques. Here, we culture primary mouse motor neurons and immortalised CAD cells, a cell line derived from the central nervous system, on various microtube substrates to investigate the influence of topographical surface features on the growth and differentiation behaviour of these cells. Our results indicate that the microtube chips not only support growth of both cell types but also provide a well-defined, geometrically confined 3D cell culture scaffold. Strikingly, our micropatterns act as a platform for axon guidance with protruding cell extensions aligning in the direction of the microtubes and forming complex square-shaped grid-like neurite networks. Our experiments open up a cost-efficient and bio-compatible way of analysing single cell behaviour in the context of advanced micro-/nanostructures with various biological applications ranging from neurite protection studies to cell sensor development.

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