Novel carbon film induces precocious calcium oscillation to promote neuronal cell maturation

Anastasia Ludwig, Sebnem Kesaf, Joonas J. Heikkinen, Tatiana Sukhanova, Shokoufeh Khakipoor, Florence Molinari, Christophe Pellegrino, Sung I. Kim, Jeon G. Han, Henri J. Huttunen, Sari E. Lauri, Sami Franssila, Ville Jokinen*, Claudio Rivera*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Different types of carbon materials are biocompatible with neural cells and can promote maturation. The mechanism of this effect is not clear. Here we have tested the capacity of a carbon material composed of amorphous sp3 carbon backbone, embedded with a percolating network of sp2 carbon domains to sustain neuronal cultures. We found that cortical neurons survive and develop faster on this novel carbon material. After 3 days in culture, there is a precocious increase in the frequency of neuronal activity and in the expression of maturation marker KCC2 on carbon films as compared to a commonly used glass surface. Accelerated development is accompanied by a dramatic increase in neuronal dendrite arborization. The mechanism for the precocious maturation involves the activation of intracellular calcium oscillations by the carbon material already after 1 day in culture. Carbon-induced oscillations are independent of network activity and reflect intrinsic spontaneous activation of developing neurons. Thus, these results reveal a novel mechanism for carbon material-induced neuronal survival and maturation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number17661
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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