3D meshes of carbon nanotubes guide functional reconnection of segregated spinal explants
Sadaf Usmani1,*, Emily Rose Aurand2,*, Manuela Medelin2, Alessandra Fabbro2, Denis Scaini2,3, Jummi Laishram2, Federica B. Rosselli1, Alessio Ansuini1, Davide Zoccolan1, Manuela Scarselli4, Maurizio De Crescenzi4, Susanna Bosi5, Maurizio Prato5,6,7,† and Laura Ballerini1,†
+ Author Affiliations
↵†Corresponding author. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (L.B.); email@example.com (M.P.)
↵* These authors contributed equally to this work.
Science Advances 15 Jul 2016: Vol. 2, no. 7, e1600087
In modern neuroscience, significant progress in developing structural scaffolds integrated with the brain is provided by the increasing use of nanomaterials. We show that a multiwalled carbon nanotube self-standing framework, consisting of a three-dimensional (3D) mesh of interconnected, conductive, pure carbon nanotubes, can guide the formation of neural webs in vitro where the spontaneous regrowth of neurite bundles is molded into a dense random net. This morphology of the fiber regrowth shaped by the 3D structure supports the successful reconnection of segregated spinal cord segments. We further observed in vivo the adaptability of these 3D devices in a healthy physiological environment. Our study shows that 3D artificial scaffolds may drive local rewiring in vitro and hold great potential for the development of future in vivo interfaces.
Keywords Nanomaterials carbon nanotubes organotypic cultures spinal cord microscopy
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