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Mechanical response of neural cells to physiologically relevant stiffness gradients

Kayal, C; Moeendarbary, E; Shipley, R; Phillips, J; (2020) Mechanical response of neural cells to physiologically relevant stiffness gradients. Advanced Healthcare Materials , 9 (8) , Article 1901036. 10.1002/adhm.201901036. Green open access

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Abstract

Understanding the influence of the mechanical environment on neurite behavior is crucial in the development of peripheral nerve repair solutions, and could help tissue engineers to direct and guide regeneration. In this study, a new protocol to fabricate physiologically relevant hydrogel substrates with controlled mechanical cues is proposed. These hydrogels allow the analysis of the relative effects of both the absolute stiffness value and the local stiffness gradient on neural cell behavior, particularly for low stiffness values (1–2 kPa). NG108‐15 neural cell behavior is studied using well‐characterized collagen gradient substrates with stiffness values ranging from 1 to 10 kPa and gradient slopes of either 0.84 or 7.9 kPa mm^{-1}. It is found that cell orientation is influenced by specific combinations of stiffness value and stiffness gradient. The results highlight the importance of considering the type of hydrogel as well as both the absolute value of the stiffness and the steepness of its gradient, thus introducing a new framework for the development of tissue engineered scaffolds and the study of substrate stiffness.

Type: Article
Title: Mechanical response of neural cells to physiologically relevant stiffness gradients
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1002/adhm.201901036
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1002/adhm.201901036
Language: English
Additional information: © 2019 The Authors published by Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: mechanosensitivity, neurites, peripheral nervous system, stiffness gradients,
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > UCL School of Pharmacy
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > UCL School of Pharmacy > Pharmacology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Chemical Engineering
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Mechanical Engineering
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10087366
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