3D culture of adult mouse neural stem cells within functionalized self-assembling peptide scaffolds.

Carla Cunha, Silvia Panseri, Omar Villa, Diego Silva, Fabrizio Gelain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Three-dimensional (3D) in vitro models of cell culture aim to fill the gap between the standard two-dimensional cell studies and the in vivo environment. Especially for neural tissue regeneration approaches where there is little regenerative capacity, these models are important for mimicking the extracellular matrix in providing support, allowing the natural flow of oxygen, nutrients, and growth factors, and possibly favoring neural cell regrowth. We have previously demonstrated that a new self-assembling nanostructured biomaterial, based on matrigel, was able to support adult neural stem cell (NSC) culture. In this study, we developed a new 3D cell culture system that takes advantage of the nano- and microfiber assembling process, under physiologic conditions, of these biomaterials. The assembled scaffold forms an intricate and biologically active matrix that displays specifically designed functional motifs: RGD (Arg-Gly-Asp), BMHP1 (bone marrow homing peptide 1), and BMHP2, for the culture of adult NSCs. These scaffolds were prepared at different concentrations, and microscopic examination of the cell-embedded scaffolds showed that NSCs are viable and they proliferate and differentiate within the nanostructured environment of the scaffold. Such a model has the potential to be tailored to develop ad hoc designed peptides for specific cell lines.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)943-955
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Nanomedicine
Publication statusPublished - 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Drug Discovery


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