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Nanomedicine (Lond). 2008 Apr;3(2):183-99. doi: 10.2217/17435889.3.2.183.

Nanostructured scaffolds for neural applications.

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Department of Biomedical Engineering, 1 University Station, MC C0800 The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712, USA.


This review discusses the design of scaffolds having submicron and nanoscale features for neural-engineering applications. In particular, the goal is to create materials that can interface more intimately with individual neuronal cells, within both living tissues and in culture, by better mimicking the native extracellular environment. Scaffolds with nanoscale features have the potential to improve the specificity and accuracy of materials for a number of neural-engineering applications, ranging from neural probes for Parkinson's patients to guidance scaffolds for axonal regeneration in patients with traumatic nerve injuries. This review will highlight several techniques that are used to create nanostructured scaffolds, such as photolithography to create grooves for neurite guidance, electrospinning of fibrous matrices, self-assembly of 3D scaffolds from designer peptides and fabrication of conductive nanoscale materials. Most importantly, this review focuses on the effects of incorporating nanoscale architectures into these materials on neuronal and glial cell growth and function.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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