Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A graphene oxide nanocomposite for neural interfacing applications
by Weaver, Cassandra Lynn, Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh, 2014, 198; 10075905
Abstract (Summary)

Advanced neural interfacing technologies have the ability to communicate with the central nervous system (CNS) and provide researchers with valuable information about the complex physiology of the brain. Traditional neural electrodes interact with nervous tissue electrically, either through recording or stimulation, but are limited in their potential to chemically interface with the CNS. This dissertation describes the development of a conductive neural biomaterial with the capability of recording neurochemical signals in addition to providing both immobilized and soluble chemical cues to influence cell behavior.

The material consists of a graphene oxide/conducting polymer (GO/CP) nanocomposite deposited onto the surface of metal or carbon electrodes for improved, multimodal interfacing capabilities with neurons and neural stem cells (NSCs). The GO/CP nanocomposite demonstrated good biocompatibility with neurons and NSCs and improved neuronal differentiation and neurite outgrowth as a result of its chemical and morphological properties. Additionally, the GO nanosheets present at the nanocomposite surface enabled patterning with bioactive molecules to further influence cell growth. The electrochemical properties of the GO/CP nanocomposite enabled highly controllable, on-demand drug delivery, and the chemical properties contributed by the GO nanosheets created a platform for highly sensitive and selective dopamine detection. With an eye toward developing a highly customizable device that incorporates the versatile chemical interfacing capabilities of GO/CP with the electrical recording ability of planar multielectrode arrays, this body of work concluded with the characterization of an in vitro cultured neuronal network (CNN) damage model for investigating the pathobiology of neuronal injury. A crush injury applied to the CNN interrupted the normal activity patterns of the network and the addition of NSCs to the injury site demonstrated the ability to protect the network from developing dysfunctional circuitry, making the model an exciting platform for exploring neuronal regeneration. While the work here focuses solely on the potential of the nanocomposite in neural interfacing applications, its uses are not limited to the CNS but span all systems in the body and, as a result of its extremely unique chemical and electrical properties, extend to fields outside biomedicine.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Cui, Xinyan Tracy
School: University of Pittsburgh
School Location: United States -- Pennsylvania
Source: DAI-B 77/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Biomedical engineering, Nanotechnology
Keywords: Biosensor, Conducting polymer, Drug delivery, Graphene oxide, In vitro model, Neural interfacing
Publication Number: 10075905
ISBN: 978-1-339-58271-9
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