Thermoreversible laminin-functionalized hydrogel for neural tissue engineering

Sarah E. Stabenfeldt, Andrés J. Garcia, Michelle C. LaPlaca

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

169 Scopus citations


Traumatic injury to the central nervous system (CNS) triggers cell death and deafferentation, which may activate a cascade of cellular and network disturbances. These events often result in the formation of irregularly shaped lesions comprised of necrotic tissue and/or a fluid-filled cavity. Tissue engineering represents a promising treatment strategy for the injured neural tissue. To facilitate minimally invasive delivery of a tissue engineered system, a thermoreversible polymer is an attractive scaffold candidate. We have developed a bioactive scaffold for neural tissue engineering by tethering laminin-1 (LN) to methylcellulose (MC), a thermoresponsive hydrogel. The base MC chain was oxidized via sodium m-periodate to increase MC tethering capacity. Protein immobilization was facilitated by a Schiff base reaction between primary amine groups on LN and the carbonyl groups of the oxidized MC chain. Immunoassays demonstrated tethering of LN at 1.6 ± 0.5 ng of LN per milligram of MC. Rheological measurements for different MC-LN constructs indicated MC composition- and MC treatment-dependent effects on solution-gelation transition temperature. Cellular assays with primary rat cortical neurons demonstrated enhanced cell adhesion and viability on LN-functionalized MC when compared with base and oxidized MC. This bioadhesive thermoresponsive scaffold may provide a robust delivery vehicle to injured CNS tissue for neural cell transplantation strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)718-725
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biomedical Materials Research - Part A
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 15 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Hydrogel
  • Laminin
  • Neural tissue engineering
  • Protein immobilization
  • Thermally responsive materials

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Metals and Alloys


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