The work here describes the synthesis of tailor-made, porous, polymeric materials with elastic moduli in the range associated with mammalian brain tissue (0.1-24 kPa). Three new emulsion-templated porous polymer materials (polyHIPEs) were synthesised by thiol-ene photopolymerisation from hexanediol diacrylate (HDDA) and polyethylene glycol diacrylate (PEGDA) crosslinkers and compared with a previously reported material prepared from trimethylolpropane triacrylate (TMPTA). The materials were found to have an average pore diameter of 30-63 μm and a porosity of 77% and above. PEGDA crosslinked materials at 80 and 85% porosity, when swollen in PBS at 37 °C, were found to have an elastic modulus of 18 and 9.0 kPa respectively. PEGDA crosslinked materials were also found to have a swelling ratio of 700% in PBS at 37 °C. PEGDA crosslinked materials had improved visible light transmission properties when compared to TMPTA crosslinked materials under a bright field microscope. All materials were shown via hematoxylin and eosin staining to support the infiltration and attachment of induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived human neural progenitor cells (hNPCs). HNPCs on all materials were demonstrated in short term 3D cultures to maintain a phenotype consistent with early neural lineage specification via immunohistochemical staining for the intermediate filament protein vimentin.
Camilla Cohen (Manager)Faculty of Medicine Nursing and Health Sciences Research Platforms
Stephen Firth (Manager), Alex Fulcher (Operator), Oleks Chernyavskiy (Operator), Margaret Rzeszutek (Other), David Potter (Manager), Volker Hilsenstein (Operator), Juan Nunez-Iglesias (Other), Stephen Cody (Manager), Irena Carmichael (Operator), Betty Kouskousis (Other), Sarah Creed (Manager) & Giulia Ballerin (Operator)Faculty of Medicine Nursing and Health Sciences Research Platforms