Nerve growth factor releasing composite nanoparticles (NGF-cNPs) were developed to direct the extension of neurite outgrowth from dorsal root ganglia (DRG). Iron oxide magnetic nanoparticles were incorporated into poly-l-lactic acid (PLLA) nanoparticles in order to position the NGF-cNPs in a culture dish. Neurites growing from DRG extended toward the NGF released from the NGF-cNPs. DRG were then cultured on aligned PLLA microfibers in the presence of NGF-cNPs, and these biomaterials combined to align DRG neurite extension along one axis and preferentially toward the NGF-cNPs. This combinatorial biomaterial approach shows promise as a strategy to direct the extension of regenerating neurites.
ACS Chem. Neurosci.6, 1781–1788 (2015).