Polysialic acid immobilized on silanized glass surfaces: a test case for its use as a biomaterial for nerve regeneration
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- Steinhaus, S., Stark, Y., Bruns, S. et al. J Mater Sci: Mater Med (2010) 21: 1371. doi:10.1007/s10856-009-3981-0
The immobilization of polysialic acid (polySia) on glass substrates has been investigated with regard to the applicability of this polysaccharide as a novel, biocompatible and bioresorbable material for tissue engineering, especially with regard to its use in nerve regeneration. PolySia, a homopolymer of α-2,8-linked sialic acid, is involved in post-translational modification of the neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM). The degradation of polySia can be controlled which makes it an interesting material for coating and for scaffold construction in tissue engineering. Here, we describe the immobilization of polySia on glass surfaces via an epoxysilane linker. Whereas glass surfaces will not actually be used in nerve regeneration scaffolds, they provide a simple and efficient means for testing various methods for the investigation of immobilized polySia. The modified surfaces were investigated with contact angle measurements and the quantity of immobilized polySia was examined by the thiobarbituric acid assay and a specific polySia-ELISA. The interactions between the polySia-modified surface and immortalized Schwann cells were evaluated via cell adhesion and cell viability assays. The results show that polySia can be immobilized on glass surfaces via the epoxysilane linker and that surface-bound polySia has no toxic effects on Schwann cells. Therefore, as a key substance in the development of vertebrates and as a favourable substrate for the cultivation of Schwann cells, it offers interesting features for the use in nerve guidance tubes for treatment of peripheral nerve injuries.