Polystyrene replicas of neuronal basal lamina act as excellent guides for regenerating neurites.

Martin Karlsson, Fredrik Johansson, Martin Kanje

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5 Citations (SciVal)


Various scaffolds, natural or artificial, have been used for neural repair, including basal lamina scaffolds obtained through extraction of nerves. Here we tested whether plastic casts of such preparations could be used for neurite guidance. To this end, longitudinal micron thick sections of rat sciatic nerve were extracted with detergents and treated with Dnase, yielding an acellular basal lamina master. From the basal lamina master a polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) mold was made. Then a polystyrene replica was made using the PDMS mold as the master. The polystyrene replica showed high similarity to the master within nanometer resolution as revealed by scanning electron microscopy. Organ cultured mouse dorsal root ganglia grown on the polystyrene replica and the master preparation exhibited guided outgrowth of neurites as assayed by two-dimensional fast Fourier transform analysis on preparations, where the neurites had been visualized by β-III-tubulin staining. The neurites aligned longitudally in the direction of the original basal lamina tubes. Thus, using inexpensive methods it is possible to make replicas of basal lamina which can be used for neurite guidance. This opens a new avenue for nerve reconstruction.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2910-2918
JournalActa Biomaterialia
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Zoology


  • Axon guidance
  • Basal lamina
  • Dorsal root ganglion
  • Extraction of nerves
  • Polystyrene


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