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Nanostructured Superhydrophobic Substrates Trigger the Development of 3D Neuronal Networks

Authors

  • Tania Limongi,

    1. Department of Nanostructures, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Via Morego 30 - 16163 Genova, Italy
    2. Department of Neuroscience and Brain Technologies, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Via Morego 30 - 16163 Genova, Italy
    Current affiliation:
    1. These authors share first authorship.
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  • Fabrizia Cesca,

    1. Department of Neuroscience and Brain Technologies, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Via Morego 30 - 16163 Genova, Italy
    Current affiliation:
    1. These authors share first authorship.
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  • Francesco Gentile,

    1. Department of Nanostructures, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Via Morego 30 - 16163 Genova, Italy
    2. Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, BioNEM Laboratory, University Magna Grecia of Catanzaro, Viale Europa- 88100 Catanzaro, Italy
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  • Roberto Marotta,

    1. Department of Nanochemistry, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Via Morego 30 - 16163 Genova, Italy
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  • Roberta Ruffilli,

    1. Department of Nanochemistry, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Via Morego 30 - 16163 Genova, Italy
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  • Andrea Barberis,

    1. Department of Neuroscience and Brain Technologies, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Via Morego 30 - 16163 Genova, Italy
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  • Marco Dal Maschio,

    1. Department of Neuroscience and Brain Technologies, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Via Morego 30 - 16163 Genova, Italy
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  • Enrica Maria Petrini,

    1. Department of Neuroscience and Brain Technologies, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Via Morego 30 - 16163 Genova, Italy
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  • Stefania Santoriello,

    1. Department of Nanostructures, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Via Morego 30 - 16163 Genova, Italy
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  • Fabio Benfenati,

    1. Department of Neuroscience and Brain Technologies, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Via Morego 30 - 16163 Genova, Italy
    Current affiliation:
    1. These authors share last authorship.
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  • Enzo Di Fabrizio

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Nanostructures, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Via Morego 30 - 16163 Genova, Italy
    Current affiliation:
    1. These authors share last authorship.
    • Department of Nanostructures, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Via Morego 30 - 16163 Genova, Italy.
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Abstract

The generation of 3D networks of primary neurons is a big challenge in neuroscience. Here, a novel method is presented for a 3D neuronal culture on superhydrophobic (SH) substrates. How nano-patterned SH devices stimulate neurons to build 3D networks is investigated. Scanning electron microscopy and confocal imaging show that soon after plating neurites adhere to the nanopatterned pillar sidewalls and they are subsequently pulled between pillars in a suspended position. These neurons display an enhanced survival rate compared to standard cultures and develop mature networks with physiological excitability. These findings underline the importance of using nanostructured SH surfaces for directing 3D neuronal growth, as well as for the design of biomaterials for neuronal regeneration.

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