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)Office of the Vice-Provost (Research and Research Infrastructure)
Ian Harper (Manager), 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), Chad Johnson (Operator), Sarah Creed (Manager) & Giulia Ballerin (Operator)Office of the Vice-Provost (Research and Research Infrastructure)