Graphene-based materials represent a useful tool for the realization of novel neural interfaces. Several studies have demonstrated the biocompatibility of graphene-based supports, but the biological interactions between graphene and neurons still pose open questions. In this work, the influence of graphene films with different characteristics on the growth and maturation of primary cortical neurons is investigated. Graphene films are grown by chemical vapor deposition progressively lowering the temperature range from 1070 to 650 °C to change the lattice structure and corresponding electrical conductivity. Two graphene-based films with different electrical properties are selected and used as substrate for growing primary cortical neurons: i) highly crystalline and conductive (grown at 1070 °C) and ii) highly disordered and 140-times less conductive (grown at 790 °C). Electron and fluorescence microscopy imaging reveal an excellent neuronal viability and the development of a mature, structured, and excitable network onto both substrates, regardless of their microstructure and electrical conductivity. The results underline that high electrical conductivity by itself is not fundamental for graphene-based neuronal interfaces, while other physico–chemical characteristics, including the atomic structure, should be also considered in the design of functional, bio-friendly templates. This finding widens the spectrum of carbon-based materials suitable for neuroscience applications.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
A. Mehilli is gratefully acknowledged for primary cell culture preparations, as well as D. Moruzzo, R. Ciancio, and I. Dallorto for technical and administrative support. The work was supported by the European Union's Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under Grant Agreement Grant Agreement No. 785219—Graphene Flagship—Core2 and Ministero degli Affari Esteri e Cooperazione Internazionale of Italy (Farnesina—MAECI) under the Grant Agreement No. MAE0057294. G.H.L. acknowledges supports from Basic Science Research Program, the Creative Materials Discovery Program, and the International Research & Development Program through the NRF of Korea (2016M3A7B4910940, 2018M3D1A1058793, 2019K1A3A1A25000267). M.B. acknowledges the European Union's Horizon 2020 under the Marie Skłodowska–Curie Action‐COFUND Athenea3i grant agreement No. 754446. A.C. acknowledges the support of the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under the Marie Skłodowska–Curie grant agreement No. 713640.
© 2020 The Authors. Published by Wiley-VCH GmbH
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Condensed Matter Physics