This investigation reports on the immobilization of neuronal and glial cells (Schwann cells and astrocytes) within N-(2-hydroxypropyl) methacrylamide (HPMA) polymer hydrogels for the production of cell-based polymer hybrid devices. Cells were included within HPMA polymer networks by gel-entrapment, and these biogels were maintained in vitro for up to 6 days. Cell viability and differentiation were studied using immunocytochemical methods and image analysis techniques. The polymer structure and its relationships with cells were examined by scanning electron microscopy. A proportion of the cell population was viable, expressing its own antigenic profile throughout the period of gel incubation, as cells do in conventional culture conditions, and some cells exhibited behaviour such as spreading or process outgrowth and secretion of laminin. The result of the present study allows us to envisage tissue replacement in the central nervous system by means of such cell-based polymer constructs.
|Publication status||Published - 1996|