Long-term maintenance of patterns of hippocampal pyramidal cells on substrates of polyethylene glycol and micro stamped poly lysine

Darren W. Branch, Bruce C. Wheeler, Gregory J. Brewer, Deborah E. Leckband

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


For neurons to attach and remain in precise micropatterns for weeks in culture, background molecules that remain nonpermissive for extended culture durations need to be identified. Nonpermissive background molecules of either polyethylene glycol (PEG) or the amino acid serine (C 3H 7NO 3) were evaluated. The foreground regions were microstamped with 3-, 5-, or 10-μm lines of poly-D-lysine (PDL), which promotes neural attachment and growth. After 29 days in culture the foreground compliance, or the fraction of all live somata which rested on the desired PDL surface, averaged 86% for serine and 90% for PEG, with only a small decline. The background compliance, or the fraction of square areas in the pattern background which were free of neurite extension, declined from highs of 40% and 55% (midculture) to 5.5% and 12% (29 days) for serine and PEG, respectively. Images of the cultures suggest that PEG is significantly more effective as a nonpermissive substrate. We conclude that these materials, especially PEG, are adequate for the maintenance of long-term patterned cultures of neurons. We believe that this is the first report of high-quality long-term patterning of cultured neurons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)290-300
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 1 2000



  • Hippocampal pyramidal cells
  • Long-term
  • Micro
  • Microstamp
  • Neural culture
  • Pattern
  • Stamp
  • Survival

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering

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