2, National Taiwan University, Taipei, , Taiwan
Neural tissue engineering has emerged as a potential technology to cure neural damages. Although various synthetic polymers with good biocompatibility and biodegradability are adopted as candidate materials for scaffolds, most of them require incorporation of biomolecules in order to promote the growth of long axon. Here we propose a peptide-based polyelectrolyte which is conductive and contains neurotransmitter of glutamic acid. The designed copolymer of poly(γ-benzyl-L-glutamate) and poly(L-glutamic acid) sodium salt (PBGA-Na+) is electrospun into 3D scaffold with aligned fibers. Neuron-like rat phaeochromocytoma (PC12) cells are cultured on the scaffolds to evaluate cell proliferation and differentiation. It is expected that with both electrical and biochemical cues, the polyelectrolyte PBGA-Na+ will give longer axon outgrowth and higher differentiation ratio compared with the neutral copolymer of poly(γ-benzyl-L-glutamate) and poly(L-glutamic acid) (PBGA).