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Proceedings Paper

New materials for old problems: What can nanomaterials do for biology and neuroscience?
Author(s): Malathi Srivatsan; Mahadevappa P. Badanavalu; Justin Yancey; Jining Xie; Linfeng Chen; Philip T. Hankins; Hargsoon Yoon; Vijay K. Varadan
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Paper Abstract

The emerging field of nanotechnology offers the development of new materials and methods for crucial neuroscience applications namely (a) promoting survival and growth of the neurons, and (b) monitoring physiological signals generated in the nervous system such as excitation, synaptic transmission, release of neurotransmitter molecules and cell-to-cell communication. Such bio-devices will have several novel applications in basic science, laboratory analysis and therapeutic treatments. Our goals in this field of research include (a) development of new biocompatible substrates to guide and promote neuronal growth along specific pathways; (b) designing a neuron-friendly, bio-molecule delivery system for neuroprotection; (c) monitoring of electrical activity from neuron and also from neuronal networks; (d) determining the diffusion and intracellular localization of nanomaterial interacting with neurons at high resolution; and (e) detection of release of neurotransmitter molecules by means of newly designed nanosensors. Here we describe the fabrication and use of magnetic nanotubes and nanowire electrode arrays in studies using a cell culture model of neuronally differentiating rat pheochromocytoma (PC 12) cells. The magnetic nanotubes were fabricated by a template method yielding hematite (α-Fe2O3) nanotubes. These nanotubes were coupled with nerve growth factor (NGF). Vertically aligned nanowires were fabricated on glass substrates using the lithography-assisted template bonding (LATB) method. Rat pheochromocytoma (PC12) cells were cultured on these nanotubes and polylysine coated nanowire electrodes. Our results showed that magnetic nanotube bound NGF was available to PC12 cells as they showed significant differentiation into neurons. PC12 cells growing on nanowires in the presence of NGF differentiated into neurons capable of synthesis and release of dopamine upon stimulation. The neurons grew healthy neurites appearing to form synapses with other neurons in the dish. These results show that the magnetic nanotubes were capable of delivering neurotrophic molecules and the nanowire electrodes are neuron-friendly, promote cell to cell communication and can be used as bio-sensors in the nervous system.

Paper Details

Date Published: 27 March 2009
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 7291, Nanosensors, Biosensors, and Info-Tech Sensors and Systems 2009, 729107 (27 March 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.820771
Show Author Affiliations
Malathi Srivatsan, Arkansas State Univ. (United States)
Mahadevappa P. Badanavalu, Arkansas State Univ. (United States)
Justin Yancey, Arkansas State Univ. (United States)
Jining Xie, Univ. of Arkansas (United States)
Linfeng Chen, Univ. of Arkansas (United States)
Philip T. Hankins, Univ. of Arkansas (United States)
Hargsoon Yoon, Univ. of Arkansas (United States)
Vijay K. Varadan, Univ. of Arkansas (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7291:
Nanosensors, Biosensors, and Info-Tech Sensors and Systems 2009
Vijay K. Varadan, Editor(s)

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