Interaction of neural stem cells and glial cells with 2D and 3D Matrices
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- Institutt for biologi 
Repair of spinal cord or brain injury is a challenge in today?s world as well as the center of attention of neuroscientists. Cell transplantation and in situ tissue engineering are promising approaches for central nervous system (CNS) regeneration. It is therefore very important that we address this issue right from the very basics by studying the interaction of promising cell types for CNS repair, such as neural stem cells (NSCs) and olfactory ensheathing cells (OECs), with different biomaterials in 2D and 3D cultures, for the purpose of developing appropriate therapeutic strategies. Study of culture systems in 2D provides very useful information about biological processes. However, many applications in tissue engineering like cell growth studies and drug transportation are better investigated using a 3D culture system.In this study we investigated the growth, survival, and interactions of NSCs, OECs, and NSC/OEC co-culture with different alginate types (UP MVM, UP MVG, M-RGD, G-RGD, MREDV and VAPG) and Matrigel. Furthermore, we studied the differentiating potential of NSCs in a co-culture with OECs in these matrices. This study showed that different alginate matrices differentially affect proliferation, survival, and network formation of the cells over time, while the cell morphologies of NSCs and OECs appear round in a 3D matrix. The normal morphologies of the cells could only be seen in the 2D culture systems. Moreover, our findings suggest that UP MVM and M-REDV alginate supports NSCs differentiation in 3D culture. We tried to investigate the gelling of Matrigel by experimenting with different dilutions of Matrigel but were not successful in making a gel at the concentrations tested. We also found that OECs have a dynamic interaction with Matrigel and forms network. The knowledge derived from these findings is essential with a view to designing appropriate strategies for in situ tissue engineering using NSCs and OECs in experimental injury models.