Neuronal Morphology & Function

Neuronal proliferation, development and functionality are regulated by a complex system of chemical and biophysical cues cumulatively termed the neuronal niche. Researchers endeavoring to model neuron activity, grow functional tissues or test drug delivery mechanics seek to recapitulate this highly specific environment to ensure accurate results. In the past, neurological studies were conducted in 2D environments that limited potential by inducing flat morphology, diminished function and a tendency towards glial cell differentiation. Currently, researchers are employing customized PDMS constructs to produce microenvironments with neuron specific geometries and chemical signals. For example, functionalization of the PDMS surface with poly-L-ornithine and then laminin after plasma treatment has enabled researchers to construct complex, unidirectional neuronal networks. Plasma treatment enables the functionalization of material surfaces to optimally mimic the neuronal niche. In the following papers, you will find examples of plasma treatments effective use in the development of complex neurological systems.

Relevant Articles

  • Forró, C.; Thompson-Steckel, G.; Weaver, S.; Weydert, S.; Ihle, S.; Dermutz, H.; Aebersold, M. J.; Pilz, R.; Demkó, L. & Vörös, J. “Modular microstructure design to build neuronal networks of defined functional connectivity”, Biosens. Bioelectron. (2018) 122: 75-87.
  • Hughes, B. R.; Mirbagheri, M.; Waldman, S. D. & Hwang, D. K. “Direct cell-cell communication with three-dimensional cell morphology on wrinkled microposts” Acta Biomater. (2018) 78: 89-97.
  • Kuddannaya, S.; Tong, C. S.; Fan, Y. & Zhang, Y. “Geometrically Mediated Topographic Steering of Neurite Behaviors and Network Formation”, Adv. Mater. Interfaces (2018) 5: 1700819.
  • Wang, Z. Z.; Wood, M. D.; Mackinnon, S. E. & Sakiyama-Elbert, S. E. “A microfluidic platform to study the effects of GDNF on neuronal axon entrapment”, J. Neurosci. Methods (2018) 308: 183-191.
  • Sathe, S.; Chan, X.; Jin, J.; Bernitt, E.; Döbereiner, H.-G. & Yim, E. “Correlation and Comparison of Cortical and Hippocampal Neural Progenitor Morphology and Differentiation through the Use of Micro- and Nano-Topographies”, J. Func. Biomat. (2017) 8: 35.

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