Biocompatibility of NGF-grafted GTG membranes for peripheral nerve repair using cultured Schwann cells

Pei Ru Chen, Ming Hong Chen, Jui Sheng Sun, Mei Hsiu Chen, Chien Chen Tsai, Feng Huei Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


We previously developed a biodegradable composite with potentially good biocompatibility composed by tricalcium phosphate and gluataraldehyde cross-linking gelatin (GTG) with good mechanical property feasible for surgical manipulation. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of immobilizing nerve growth factor (NGF) onto the composite (GTG) with carbodiimide (GEN composite). Cultured Schwann cells were seeded onto the GTG and GEN composites. For comparison, GTG membrane soaked in NGF solution without carbodiimide (GN composite) as cross-linking agent was also used to culture Schwann cells. Cell morphology was observed by a scanning electron microscope. Cell survival, cytotoxicity and cellular metabolism on the NGF-grafted GTG membrane were assessed quantitatively in terms of cell protein content, leakage of cytosolic lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) activity and by the well-established MTT assay, respectively. The result of LDH study did not show significant difference among GTG, NGF-modified GTG and control group. This indicated that GTG composite, whether cross-linking with NGF or not, has little cytotoxic effect. Comparing the protein content and MTT assay among GEN, GN composite and control group, the data confirmed more attachment of Schwann cells on GEN composite. Although GTG cross-linking with NGF did not promote Schwann cell proliferation, the techniques we used in this study provided a method to fabricate a novel biomaterial incorporation of Schwann cells and covalently immobilized NGF.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5667-5673
Number of pages7
Issue number25
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Biodegradable nerve conduit
  • Gelatin
  • Nerve growth factor
  • Schwann cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Biophysics
  • Biomaterials
  • Mechanics of Materials


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