Modulating Neuronal Responses by Controlled Integration of Acetylcholine-like Functionalities in Biomimetic Polymers


  • This work was supported by the Georgia Institute of Technology, NIH Grant 1R21 EB008565-01A1 (Y. W.) and the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship (C. B. G.). We thank Marcus Foston and Matthew DiPrima for assistance with GPC and DSC, Dr. Jin Gao for assistance with DRG isolation, Karun Somani and Miyu Toyoshima for merging images for analysis. We also thank Richard Cross for help with statistical analysis.


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This paper describes a new pathway to neuroactive materials that relies on integration of neurotransmitter-like functional groups into synthetic polymers. A series of biodegradable polymers are synthesized with varying concentrations of acetylcholine-like functionalities (ALFs) using a modular design. The polymers with medium ALF contents resemble laminin in promoting neurite sprouting and extension while maintaining phenotypic protein expression of neurons.