Artificial extracellular matrix scaffolds of mobile molecules enhance maturation of human stem cell-derived neurons

Authors: Z Álvarez, JA Ortega, K Sato, IR Sasselli, AN Kolberg-Edelbrock, R Qiu, KA Marshall, TP Nguyen, CS Smith, KA Quinlan, V Papakis, Z Syrgiannis, NA Sather, C Musumeci, E Engel, SI Stupp, E Kiskinis

Cell Stem Cell, 2023

Scientists use Axion’s noninvasive, label-free Maestro to assess functional maturity in hiPSC-derived neurons in vitro. 

The use of human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSC) is transforming neurological disease research, but culturing stem cell-derived neurons in vitro can be challenging. In this study, scientists developed artificial extracellular matrix (ECM) platforms based on peptide amphiphile (PA) supramolecular nanofibers and used Axion’s noninvasive, label-free Maestro multielectrode array (MEA) system, and other methods, to investigate the impact on neural development. Overall, the authors report that “Proteomic, biochemical, and functional assays reveal that highly mobile PA scaffolds caused enhanced b1-integrin pathway activation, reduced aggregation, increased arborization, and matured electrophysiological activity of neurons,” and suggest that the PA platform may advance the study of neurodevelopmental, neurological, and neurodegenerative disease in the future.