Synthetic Polymers Provide a Robust Substrate for Functional Neuron Culture

Yichuan Zhang, Seshasailam Venkateswaran, Gustavo A. Higuera, Suvra Nath, Guy Shpak, Jeffrey Matray, Lidy E. Fratila-Apachitei, Amir A. Zadpoor, Steven A. Kushner, Mark Bradley*, Chris I. De Zeeuw

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
56 Downloads (Pure)


Substrates for neuron culture and implantation are required to be both biocompatible and display surface compositions that support cell attachment, growth, differentiation, and neural activity. Laminin, a naturally occurring extracellular matrix protein is the most widely used substrate for neuron culture and fulfills some of these requirements, however, it is expensive, unstable (compared to synthetic materials), and prone to batch-to-batch variation. This study uses a high-throughput polymer screening approach to identify synthetic polymers that supports the in vitro culture of primary mouse cerebellar neurons. This allows the identification of materials that enable primary cell attachment with high viability even under “serum-free” conditions, with materials that support both primary cells and neural progenitor cell attachment with high levels of neuronal biomarker expression, while promoting progenitor cell maturation to neurons.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1901347
Number of pages7
JournalAdvanced Healthcare Materials
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • central nervous system regeneration
  • neuron cultures
  • polymer microarrays
  • progenitor cell maturation
  • synthetic polymer substrates


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