(160f) Peptoid-Based Substrates for Human Neural Stem Cell Differentiation
Pluripotent human neural stem cells can repair damage in the brain due to stroke or neurodegeneration. Neural stem cells will differentiate into different neural cell types depending on substrate and cell-to-cell interactions. We propose that peptoid-based substrates could be utilized to promote neural stem cell growth and differentiation. Peptoids are biomimetic poly-N-substituted glycines that are resistant to degradation by proteases. Peptoids are similar in structure to peptides, with the side chains bound to the backbone nitrogens rather than the alpha carbons. These structures have potential uses in biomedical applications due to peptoid stability under physiological conditions, customizable sequence design, and structural similarity to naturally occurring peptides. The tunability of peptoids allows for the addition of a myriad of side chains that could be added to achieve the desired function. In this study, a peptoid that self assembles into 2-4 micron diameter microspheres and a peptoid capable of engaging in non-metal catalyzed click chemistry was synthesized. Human neural stem cells were plated onto the peptoid-microsphere substrate and compared to commercially available substrates to differentiate neural stem cells. The capability of the click chemistry peptoid to attach growth factors in physiological conditions was also tested.