Astrocytes are cellular bridges between the neurons and capillaries in the blood brain barrier. It was recently suggested that the nanophysical properties of the basement membrane of the blood brain barrier can influence astrocyte and neuron responses. In this work, cerebral cortical astrocytes were cultured on standard poly-L-Lysine coated glass substrates, Aclar substrates, and electrospun polyamide nanofibers whose properties may recapitulate those of the basement membrane. The nanoscale elasticity of each culture environment was investigated by force curve analysis and compared. The elasticity of the individual nanofibers on nanofibrillar surfaces was also investigated. Finally, variations in elasticity of scaffolds were correlated with astrocyte responses.
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Tiryaki, V.M., Ayres, V.M., Ahmed, I. et al. Differences in Nanoscale Elasticity of Planar and Nanofibrillar Tissue Cultures. MRS Online Proceedings Library 1417, 746 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1557/opl.2012.746