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COMMENTARY The Convergence of Cell Transplantation and Nanoengineering

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Dr. Thomas J. Webster and his colleagues at Purdue University recently reported that carbon nanofiber-reinforced plastic composites provide excellent materials for neuronal adherence and neurite outgrowth (21). Reinforced polycarbonate nanotubes were cultured together with PC12 cells, fibroblasts, and/or astrocytes. In vitro studies revealed enhanced neuronal adhesion and neurite outgrowth that was dependent on the amount of nanofiber material present. At the same time, significantly reduced adherence of astrocytes and fibroblasts was observed. The authors suggested that these materials promote appropriate interactions with neurons that are required for successful neural probes without the typical adhesion to astrocytes and impedance of normal neuron function by an unwanted glial scar. The implications for replacing traditional silicon-based implants to monitor and diagnose neuronal pathology and function are relatively straightforward.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: LCT BioPharma, 766 Laten Knight Road, Cranston, RI 02921

Publication date: January 1, 2004

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  • Cell Transplantation publishes original, peer-reviewed research and review articles on the subject of cell transplantation and its application to human diseases. To ensure high-quality contributions from all areas of transplantation, separate section editors and editorial boards have been established. Articles deal with a wide range of topics including physiological, medical, preclinical, tissue engineering, and device-oriented aspects of transplantation of nervous system, endocrine, growth factor-secreting, bone marrow, epithelial, endothelial, and genetically engineered cells, among others. Basic clinical studies and immunological research papers are also featured. To provide complete coverage of this revolutionary field, Cell Transplantation will report on relevant technological advances, and ethical and regulatory considerations of cell transplants. Cell Transplantation is now an Open Access journal starting with volume 18 in 2009, and therefore there will be an inexpensive publication charge, which is dependent on the number of pages, in addition to the charge for color figures. This will allow work to be disseminated to a wider audience and also entitle the corresponding author to a free PDF, as well as prepublication of an unedited version of the manuscript.

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