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Evaluation on in vitro biocompatibility of silk fibroin-based biomaterials with primarily cultured hippocampal neurons

Authors

  • Xin Tang,

    1. Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Neuroregeneration, Nantong University, Nantong, Jiangsu Province 226001, People's Republic of China
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    • These authors contributed equally to this work.

  • Fei Ding,

    1. Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Neuroregeneration, Nantong University, Nantong, Jiangsu Province 226001, People's Republic of China
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    • These authors contributed equally to this work.

  • Yumin Yang,

    1. Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Neuroregeneration, Nantong University, Nantong, Jiangsu Province 226001, People's Republic of China
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  • Nan Hu,

    1. Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Neuroregeneration, Nantong University, Nantong, Jiangsu Province 226001, People's Republic of China
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  • Hong Wu,

    1. Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Neuroregeneration, Nantong University, Nantong, Jiangsu Province 226001, People's Republic of China
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  • Xiaosong Gu

    Corresponding author
    1. Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Neuroregeneration, Nantong University, Nantong, Jiangsu Province 226001, People's Republic of China
    • Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Neuroregeneration, Nantong University, Nantong, Jiangsu Province 226001, People's Republic of China
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Abstract

Silk fibroin-based biomaterials have recently found increasing applications in the tissue-engineering field including the generation of artificial nerve guides for peripheral nerve repair. The aim of this study was to investigate the suitability of silk fibroin as a candidate biomaterial for central nervous system (CNS) therapy. We found that substrates made up of silk fibroin fibers supported the survival and growth of the attached hippocampal neurons by using morphological observation. We also cultured the hippocampal neurons in silk fibroin extract for different times, and observed no significant difference occurring in their morphology, cell viability for these cultured hippocampal neurons as compared to those cultured in plain neuronal culture medium. Moreover, immunocytochemistry, RT-PCR, and Western blot analysis revealed that no significant difference was found in mRNA or protein levels of the growth-associated molecules, such as brain-derived neurotrophic factor, growth-associated protein-43, neurofilament, nerve growth factor, and nerve growth factor-receptor P75, between the hippocampal neurons cultured in the silk fibroin extract and in plain neuronal culture medium. Taken together, all the results demonstrate that silk fibroin has good biocompatibility with primarily cultured hippocampal neurons without any significant cytotoxic effects on their cell phenotype and functions, suggesting a potential possible use of silk fibroin for preparing the tissue-engineered nerve guides or drug delivery vehicles to treat CNS injuries or diseases. © 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res, 2009

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