The authors have shown recently that the neurite extension by neuronal PC12 cells is greatly impacted by aerogel topography. Indeed, the average neurite length of PC-12 cells grown on aerogels is greater than that in cells cultured on control substrates. Here, the authors report on the first experimental study focused on the design and development of a plasmonic photo-patterning technique for collagen-coated mes-oporous aerogel biomaterials. Herein, the authors have produced specific patterns on silica aerogels by performing precise plasmonic photo-patterning on liquid crystal-coated aerogels. The authors report the methodology employed to create a collagen–liquid crystal gel mixture imprinted with precise plasmonic photo-patterns. PC12 cells plated on these patterns did attach and survive and followed the spatial cues of the pattern to align themselves in a similar pattern.
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F.S. would like to thank the FedEx Institute of Technology for partial financial support. C.P. would like to thank the University of Memphis start-up funds.
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Rodriguez Sala, M., Peng, C., Skalli, O. et al. Tunable neuronal scaffold biomaterials through plasmonic photo-patterning of aerogels. MRS Communications 9, 1249–1255 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1557/mrc.2019.143