SUBSTRATES FOR THE CULTURE AND STIMULATION OF NEURAL CELLS
The present invention relates to the use of a substrate comprising a textured surface with a plurality of protrusions and a bulk portion, for promoting neural cell network growth in vitro and/or ex-vivo; for a culturing method and for complex neural cell 5 network reconstruction. The invention also relates to the use of a substrate for cell stimulation, and to a probe, a stimulation device, and a monitor device comprising the substrate and their medical uses.
This project includes the development of a new generation of sensors and electrodes based on nanotechnological materials of neural interfacing. The aims is to design and produce a prototype of an active implant that could work directly at the spinal-cord level. This implant will allow restoring the transmission of electrical signals in injured axon tracks of the spinal cord. Due to some limitations, electrodes are currently placed at the brain to detected electric potentials, or at the muscles to trigger functional electrical stimulation (FES).
The research proved that the nano-structure of these electrodes can offer an enhanced adhesion as well as efficiency when compared to conventional FES electrodes. The main object of the project is to develop a cost-effective, biocompatible and easy to use. The use of the substrate of the invention wherein its textured surface has a plurality of protrusions, it presents improved interaction with cells and allows the growing of active cell cultures on it.
- The invention could be, for example massively used by biotech and medical industries to fabricate novel substrates to:
- Improve cell/substrate adhesion to electrodes;
- Create new device to grow cells for 3D biotech studies;
- Electrically stimulate laboratory cell cultures for biotech studies.
- Low cost thanks to the hot-pressing procedure of the polymeric surface for nano-structuring;
- High performance;
- Highly controllable substrates;
- Manufacturing procedure useful in various applications.