2D ENGINEERED PLATFORMS FOR STUDYING NEURONAL INTERFACES AND GUIDANCE
A key mechanism in neuronal guidance is the ability of the sensory-motile growth cones at the tips of growing processes to measure environmental cues and use them for growth. We use modified 2D substrates as a method for affecting neuronal growth. We focus on signaling cues at the nanometric scale, similar to the scale of cytoskeletal elements in cells. Cues are fabricated by embedding nanoparticles, photolithography patterning, decoration of electrospun fibers etc. Studying the mechanisms involved in the interactions between neurons and topographically-structured substrates may improve our understanding of functional neuronal interactions and contribute to the development of medical devices for treatment of neuronal injuries.