A paper published in Science and Technology of Advanced Materials have shown that a synthetic protein called AGMA1 has the potential to promote the adhesion of brain cells in a laboratory setting. It is also cheaper and easier to produce on a large scale. This could help overcome a major challenge in nerve tissue engineering.
Researchers at the University of Milan in Italy have shown that a synthetic protein called AGMA1 has the potential to promote the adhesion of brain cells in a laboratory setting. This could prove helpful in improving cell adhesiveness to biomaterials.
Isolating nerve cells from their original organism and culturing them in the laboratory has long been used as a method to study brain metabolism. It has been challenging, however, to provide brain cell cultures with the necessary “adhesion promoters” that facilitate cell attachment, spreading, growth and morphological development.
Improving cell adhesion to biomaterials is also a major challenge in nerve tissue engineering and is crucial for the development of implanted neural prostheses, such as cochlear implants, and biosensors, such as blood glucose biosensors.
Coating the surfaces of negatively charged cell membranes with positively charged synthetic proteins promotes nerve adhesion and extension in laboratory settings. Most synthetic proteins, however, are toxic to living cells and thus need to be washed off before cell suspensions are spread onto a new plate. They are also unsuitable for applications that are used inside a living organism.
Within the central nervous system, extracellular matrix substances such as collagen and laminin promote the regeneration, differentiation, adhesion and migration of nerve fibers.
A protein sequence found in collagen and laminin has been identified as the minimum sequence that can mediate the adhesion of many cell types, including nerve cells.
AGMA1 is a basic synthetic protein that is biocompatible, water soluble, positively charged, and has a protein sequence similar to that found in collagen and laminin. It is much less toxic to living cells than conventionally used synthetic proteins. AGMA1 is also much easier to prepare on a large scale using relatively low-cost materials. As a result it is much cheaper.
University of Milan scientists tested the potential of AGMA1 to promote the adhesion, proliferation, and differentiation of primary brain cells in the laboratory.
Different primary cell types from rat brain were cultured on AGMA1, and the results compared with those of cells cultured under the same conditions on conventional substrates using other commonly used synthetic proteins. All experimental results showed that the performance of AGMA1 in this respect was comparable to that of conventional substrates.
For further information contact:
Dr Paolo Ferruti
Department of Chemistry
University of Milan
Sci. Technol. Adv. Mater. 15 (2014) 045007
A hydrophobic membrane with nanopores for highly efficient energy storage
22.07.2016 | DWI - Leibniz-Institut für Interaktive Materialien
New reaction for the synthesis of nanostructures
21.07.2016 | Institute of Chemical Research of Catalonia (ICIQ)
Munich Physicists have developed a novel electron microscope that can visualize electromagnetic fields oscillating at frequencies of billions of cycles per second.
Temporally varying electromagnetic fields are the driving force behind the whole of electronics. Their polarities can change at mind-bogglingly fast rates, and...
Breakup of continents with two speed: Continents initially stretch very slowly along the future splitting zone, but then move apart very quickly before the onset of rupture. The final speed can be up to 20 times faster than in the first, slow extension phase.phases
Present-day continents were shaped hundreds of millions of years ago as the supercontinent Pangaea broke apart. Derived from Pangaea’s main fragments Gondwana...
Scaffolding and specialised workers help with the delivery – Heidelberg biochemists gain new insights into biogenesis
A type of scaffolding on which specialised workers ply their trade helps in the manufacturing process of the two subunits from which the ribosome – the protein...
Scientists at the Helmholtz Zentrum München have developed a new mass spectrometry imaging method which, for the first time, makes it possible to analyze hundreds of metabolites in fixed tissue samples. Their findings, published in the journal Nature Protocols, explain the new access to metabolic information, which will offer previously unexploited potential for tissue-based research and molecular diagnostics.
In biomedical research, working with tissue samples is indispensable because it permits insights into the biological reality of patients, for example, in...
Chemists at the University of Basel have succeeded in using computer simulations to elucidate transient structures in proteins. In the journal Angewandte Chemie, the researchers set out how computer simulations of details at the atomic level can be used to understand proteins’ modes of action.
Using computational chemistry, it is possible to characterize the motion of individual atoms of a molecule. Today, the latest simulation techniques allow...
15.07.2016 | Event News
15.07.2016 | Event News
11.07.2016 | Event News
22.07.2016 | Information Technology
22.07.2016 | Physics and Astronomy
22.07.2016 | Life Sciences