Neural Regeneration

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Neural Tissue Regeneration

As the nervous system is responsible for the regulation and coordination of all other bodily systems, symptoms associated with neural tissue damage tend to be exceptionally severe. Recent insights into the physiology of the nervous system suggest that neuronal regeneration may occur much more frequently than previously thought, but many nervous system diseases and injuries remain untreatable by current medical procedures. Following the establishment of the field of regenerative medicine, biomimetic molecules have received much attention as potential effectors of neural regeneration, and short peptide signals present in the neural extracellular matrix (ECM) are particularly promising in this context. Our study area is the development of ECM-mimetic peptide nanofiber scaffolds for the enhancement of neural differentiation and proliferation. To this end, we synthesize a variety of scaffolds that incorporate bioactive peptide sequences derived from neural ECM components, with emphasis on laminin-derived peptide nanofiber networks. These nanofibers, when used in conjunction with heparan sulfate-mimetic sulfonated peptides, were shown to stimulate the production of neurite outgrowths in PC-12 cells.

Selected publications:

Mammadov B, Mammadov R, Guler MO, Tekinay AB, Cooperative Effect of Heparan Sulfate and Laminin Mimetic Peptide Nanofibers on Promotion of Neurite Outgrowth, Acta Biomaterialia, 8(6), 2077-2086, July 2012.