About the Project
Micro-patterns of parylene-C on a SiO2 background can precisely guide the growth of neurons and astrocytes, derived from the rat hippocampus. The produced cellular patterns can be preserved for over a month with the use of antimitotics (Ara-C) and can thus be utilized in long term functional studies of neuronal and astrocytic activity (e.g. Ca2+ dynamics). There is also evidence (unpublished data) that stem cells can preferentially attach to parylene-C tracks. We wish to establish the degree of conformity of the stem cells to underlying patterns, as well as the possibility to differentiate them in situ to cardiomyocytes. We can employ simple, established protocols to differentiate patterned stem cells into cardiac muscle cells without resorting to embryoid body formation. Furthermore, we will assess patterned cardiomyocyte function and spontaneous beating.