Annals of Biomedical Engineering

, Volume 44, Issue 12, pp 3468–3477 | Cite as

Effects of Chemically Doped Bioactive Borate Glass on Neuron Regrowth and Regeneration

  • Brinda Gupta
  • Jason B. Papke
  • Ali Mohammadkhah
  • Delbert E. Day
  • Amy B. Harkins


Peripheral nerve injuries present challenges to regeneration. Currently, the gold standard for nerve repair is an autograft that results in another region of the body suffering nerve damage. Previously, bioactive borate glass (BBG) has been studied in clinical trials to treat patients with non-healing wounds, and we have reported that BBG is conducive for soft tissue repair. BBG provides structural support, degrades in a non-cytotoxic manner, and can be chemically doped. Here, we tested a wide range of chemical compounds that are reported to have neuroprotective characteristics to promote regeneration of peripheral neurons after traumatic injury. We hypothesized that chemical dopants added in trace amounts to BBG would improve neuronal survival and neurite outgrowth from dorsal root ganglion (DRG) explants. We measured neurite outgrowth from whole DRG explants, and survival rates of dissociated neurons and support cells that comprise the DRG. Results show that chemically doped BBGs have differentially variable effects on neuronal survival and outgrowth, with iron, gallium, and zinc improving outgrowth of neurons, and iodine causing the most detriment to neurons. Because chemically doped BBGs support increased nerve regrowth and survival, they show promise for use in peripheral nerve regeneration.


Dorsal root ganglia Nerve regeneration Biocompatibility Glia Fibroblasts 



This work was funded in part by the Saint Louis University Investigative Learning and Experience Grant (awarded to BG) and a Presidential Research Fund from Saint Louis University (awarded to ABH). We thank Julianna Schneider, Jake Lee, and Claire Ji for assistance with viability counting. We thank Laura Marquardt for helpful discussions in experimental design. We thank Houston Linder and Blake Latty for their assistance in preparation of the glass forms used in this work.

Conflict of interest



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Copyright information

© Biomedical Engineering Society 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brinda Gupta
    • 1
  • Jason B. Papke
    • 1
  • Ali Mohammadkhah
    • 2
  • Delbert E. Day
    • 2
  • Amy B. Harkins
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Pharmacology and PhysiologySaint Louis UniversitySt. LouisUSA
  2. 2.Graduate Center for Materials Research and Center for Biomedical Science and EngineeringMissouri University of Science and TechnologyRollaUSA
  3. 3.Department of Biomedical EngineeringSaint Louis UniversitySt. LouisUSA

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