Hydrogel-electrospun fiber mat composite coatings for neural prostheses

Ning Han, Shreyas S. Rao, Jed Johnson, Kunal S. Parikh, Patrick A. Bradley, John J. Lannutti, Jessica O. Winter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Achieving stable, long-term performance of implanted neural prosthetic devices has been challenging because of implantation related neuron loss and a foreign body response that results in encapsulating glial scar formation. To improve neuron-prosthesis integration and form chronic, stable interfaces, we investigated the potential of neurotrophin-eluting hydrogel-electrospun fiber mat (EFM) composite coatings. In particular, poly(ethylene glycol)-poly(ε-caprolactone) (PEGPCL) hydrogel-poly(ε-caprolactone) EFM composites were applied as coatings for multielectrode arrays. Coatings were stable and persisted on electrode surfaces for over 1 month under an agarose gel tissue phantom and over 9 months in a PBS immersion bath. To demonstrate drug release, a neurotrophin, nerve growth factor (NGF), was loaded in the PEGPCL hydrogel layer, and coating cytotoxicity and sustained NGF release were evaluated using a PC12 cell culture model. Quantitative MTT assays showed that these coatings had no significant toxicity toward PC12 cells, and neurite extension at day 7 and 14 confirmed sustained release of NGF at biologically significant concentrations for at least 2 weeks. Our results demonstrate that hydrogel-EFM composite materials can be applied to neural prostheses to improve neuron-electrode proximity and enhance long-term device performance and function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalFrontiers in Neuroengineering
Issue numberMARCH
StatePublished - Mar 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Coatings
  • Drug release
  • Electrospun fibers
  • Hydrogels
  • Neural prostheses

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Biophysics
  • Biomedical Engineering


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