Pyrolytic Carbon Nanograss for Enhanced Neurogenesis and Dopaminergic Differentiation of Human midbrain Neural Stem Cells

Afia Asif, Silvia Gracía-López, Arto Heiskanen, Alberto Martínez-Serrano, Stephan S. Keller, Marta Pereira, Jenny Emnéus*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference abstract for conferenceResearch


Stem cells are undifferentiated cells endowed with the properties of self-renewal and ability to develop into multiple specialized cells on demand. Sophisticated nano/micro structures have been employed as one way towards better understanding of cell to cell signaling mechanisms. Such topographies and biomaterials have the ability to influence cell migration, proliferation, gene expression, and tailored differentiation towards desired phenotypes (1). Pyrolytic carbon has been used as a tissue engineering scaffold in biosensing and life science applications due to its ability to be patterned as well as its multifunctional nature
i.e. conductivity, biocompatibility and mechanical support (2,3).
This work presents fabrication and characterization of pyrolytic carbon nanograss (CNG) structures and investigates the role of nanotopography and material on the biology of human neural stem cells (hNSCs). The overall aim of the experimental study is to identify if pyrolytic CNG is a promising engineered nanomaterial for use as a future platform in CRT and implants for PD treatment. For this purpose, four different types of CNGs were fabricated using a simple one-step photolithography process, reactive ion etching and pyrolysis for carbonization. The analysis of hNSCs differentiation was achieved by quantifying
morphological parameters such as cell area, elongation, and circularity. In-depth cellular studies of immunocytochemistry (ICC) characterization of specific biomarkers were performed on CNG to investigate neurogenesis and the generation of dopaminergic neurons (DAn) as compared to on tissue culture plastic (TCP) control and flat carbon (FC) surfaces, both in the presence and the absence of poly-L-lysine (PLL) as the biocoating to evaluate the effect on cell adhesion and differentiation. The results show that in the presence of the PLL, the CNGs enhanced hNSCs neurogenesis up to 2.3 folds and DAn differentiation up to 3.5 folds. Moreover, CNGs without any PLL coating, are not only supporting cell survival but also lead to significantly enhanced neurogenesis, promoting the hNSCs to acquire dopaminergic phenotype compared to PLL coated TCP and FC substrates.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019
EventInternational Conference on Nanotechnology 2019 - Tecnologico de Monterrey, Monterrey, Mexico
Duration: 21 Oct 201923 Oct 2019


ConferenceInternational Conference on Nanotechnology 2019
LocationTecnologico de Monterrey

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Pyrolytic Carbon Nanograss for Enhanced Neurogenesis and Dopaminergic Differentiation of Human midbrain Neural Stem Cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this