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Sci Adv. 2016 Jul 15;2(7):e1600087. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.1600087. eCollection 2016 Jul.

3D meshes of carbon nanotubes guide functional reconnection of segregated spinal explants.

Author information

1
International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA/ISAS), Trieste 34136, Italy.
2
Department of Life Sciences, University of Trieste, Trieste 34127, Italy.
3
Department of Life Sciences, University of Trieste, Trieste 34127, Italy.; NanoInnovation Laboratory, ELETTRA Synchrotron Light Source, Trieste 34149, Italy.
4
Department of Physics, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Rome 00173, Italy.
5
Department of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Trieste, Trieste 34127, Italy.
6
Department of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Trieste, Trieste 34127, Italy.; Carbon Nanobiotechnology Laboratory, CIC biomaGUNE, Paseo de Miramón 182, 20009 Donostia-San Sebastián, Spain.; Ikerbasque, Basque Foundation for Science, 48013 Bilbao, Spain.

Abstract

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; microscopy; organotypic cultures; spinal cord

PMID:
27453939
PMCID:
PMC4956187
DOI:
10.1126/sciadv.1600087
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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