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Effects of borate-based bioactive glass on neuron viability and neurite extension

Authors

  • Laura M. Marquardt,

    1. Department of Biomedical Engineering, Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, Missouri
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  • Delbert Day,

    1. Department of Materials Science and Engineering, and Center for Bone and Tissue Repair and Regeneration, Missouri University of Science and Technology, Rolla, Missouri
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  • Shelly E. Sakiyama-Elbert,

    1. Department of Biomedical Engineering, Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, Missouri
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  • Amy B. Harkins

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Pharmacological and Physiological Science, Saint Louis University, St, Louis, Missouri
    2. Department of Biomedical Engineering, Saint Louis University, St. Louis, Missouri
    • Correspondence to: A. B. Harkins, Department of Pharmacological and Physiological Science, 1402 S. Grand Blvd., Saint Louis University, St. Louis, MO 63104; e-mail: harkinsa@slu.edu

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  • Disclosure: Dr. Delbert Day is founder of, and previously employed by MO-SCI corporation.

Abstract

Bioactive glasses have recently been shown to promote regeneration of soft tissues by positively influencing tissue remodeling during wound healing. We were interested to determine whether bioactive glasses have the potential for use in the treatment of peripheral nerve injury. In these experiments, degradable bioactive borate glass was fabricated into rods and microfibers. To study the compatibility with neurons, embryonic chick dorsal root ganglia (DRG) were cultured with different forms of bioactive borate glass. Cell viability was measured with no media exchange (static condition) or routine media exchange (transient condition). Neurite extension was measured within fibrin scaffolds with embedded glass microfibers or aligned rod sheets. Mixed cultures of neurons, glia, and fibroblasts growing in static conditions with glass rods and microfibers resulted in decreased cell viability. However, the percentage of neurons compared with all cell types increased by the end of the culture protocol compared with culture without glass. Furthermore, bioactive glass and fibrin composite scaffolds promoted neurite extension similar to that of control fibrin scaffolds, suggesting that glass does not have a significant detrimental effect on neuronal health. Aligned glass scaffolds guided neurite extension in an oriented manner. Together these findings suggest that bioactive glass can provide alignment to support directed axon growth. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part A: 102A: 2767–2775, 2014.

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