Laminin-coated poly(L-lactide) filaments induce robust neurite growth while providing directional orientation

Nagarathnamma Rangappa, Andres Romero, Kevin D. Nelson, Robert C. Eberhart, George M. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

105 Scopus citations


Cellular channels during development and after peripheral nerve injury are thought to provide guidance cues to growing axons. In tissue culture where these cues are absent, neurites from dorsal root ganglion neurons grow with a radial distribution. To induce directional axonal growth and to enhance the rate of axonal growth after injury, we have designed microfilaments of poly(L-lactide). We demonstrate that dorsal root ganglia grown on these filaments in vitro extend longitudinally oriented neurites in a manner similar to native peripheral nerves. The extent of neurite growth was significantly higher on laminin-coated filaments compared with uncoated and poly-L-lysine-coated filaments. As high as 5.8 ± 0.2 mm growth was observed on laminin-coated filaments compared with 2.0 ± 0.2 mm on uncoated and 2.2 ± 0.3 mm on poly-L-lysine-coated filaments within 8 days. Schwann cells were found to grow on all types of filaments. They were, however, absent in the leading edges of growth on laminin-coated filaments. Photolysis of Schwann cells caused a significant reduction in the neurite length on all types of filaments. Laminin-coated filaments, however, induced significantly longer neurites compared with uncoated and/or poly-L-lysine-coated filaments even in the absence of Schwann cells. Our results suggest that laminin-coated poly(L-lactide) filaments are suitable for inducing directional and enhanced axonal growth. Implants designed by arranging these microfilaments into bundles should aid regenerating axons by providing guidance cues and channels to organize matrix deposition, cell migration, axon growth, and improve functional recovery. (C) 2000 John Wiley and Sons, Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)625-634
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Biomedical Materials Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Sep 15 2000


  • Bioresorbable polymers
  • Dorsal root ganglia
  • Laminin
  • PLLA filaments
  • PNS regeneration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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