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Serrano M.C.,Laboratory of Neural Repair and Biomaterials | Patino J.,CSIC - Institute of Materials Science | Garcia-Rama C.,Laboratory of Neural Repair and Biomaterials | Ferrer M.L.,CSIC - Institute of Materials Science | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Materials Chemistry B | Year: 2014

The absence of efficient therapies for the treatment of lesions affecting the central nervous system encourages scientists to explore new materials in an attempt to enhance neural tissue regeneration while preventing inhibitory fibroglial scars. In recent years, the superlative properties of graphene-based materials have provided a strong incentive for their application in biomedicine. Nonetheless, a few attempts to date have envisioned the use of graphene for the fabrication of three-dimensional (3D) substrates for neural repair, but none of these involve graphene oxide (GOx) despite some attractive features such as higher hydrophilicity and versatility of functionalization. In this paper, we report novel, free-standing, porous and flexible 3D GOx-based scaffolds, produced by the biocompatible freeze-casting procedure named ISISA, with potential utility in neural tissue regeneration. The resulting materials were thoroughly characterized by Fourier-transform infrared, Raman, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopies and scanning electron microscopy, as well as flexibility testing. Embryonic neural progenitor cells were then used to investigate adhesion, morphology, viability, and neuronal/glial differentiation. Highly viable and interconnected neural networks were formed on these 3D scaffolds, containing both neurons and glial cells and rich in dendrites, axons and synaptic connections, and the results are in agreement with those obtained in initial studies performed with two-dimensional GOx films. These results encourage further investigation in vivo on the use of these scaffolds as guide substrates to promote the repair of neural injuries. This journal is © the Partner Organisations 2014. Source

Garcia-Arguelles S.,CSIC - Institute of Materials Science | Garcia C.,CSIC - Institute of Polymer Science and Technology | Serrano M.C.,Laboratory of Neural Repair and Biomaterials | Gutierrez M.C.,CSIC - Institute of Materials Science | And 2 more authors.
Green Chemistry | Year: 2015

We have investigated the ring-opening polymerization (ROP) of ε-caprolactone using mixtures of methanesulfonic acid and the guanidine 1,5,7-triazabicyclo[4.4.0]dec-5-ene as the catalyst. Our interest in these mixtures is based on the capability of both acids and bases to behave as bifunctional catalysts; the former by the combined action of acidic hydrogens and basic oxygens, and the latter by the hydrogen-bond acceptor and donor features of, respectively, a basic nitrogen center and an ortho-hydrogen atom. We found that these compounds are capable of forming eutectic mixtures at a certain molar ratio. Upon the use of these mixtures - e.g. with molar ratios near to the eutectic one - as catalysts, neither further solvents nor initiators were required to carry out the ROP of ε-caprolactone. The resulting polycaprolactones (PCLs) were highly crystalline (more than 87%) and exhibited an excellent capability to support the growth of murine L929 fibroblasts. We consider that the preparation of biocompatible PCLs at physiological temperatures and in the absence of reagents other than the monomer and the catalyst offers an interesting alternative to both the self-cross-linked oligomers/macromers of acrylate-based PCL-derivatives and the pH/temperature-sensitive PCL copolymers used to date as injectable biomaterials. © The Royal Society of Chemistry 2015. Source

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