291398 Controlling and Quantifying Material Properties to Direct Neurite Growth

Monday, October 29, 2012
Hall B (Convention Center )
Austin Hangartner, Brad Tuft and C. Allan Guymon, Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA

One cause of deafness is the permanent damage of hair cells within the cochlea. This particular type of impaired hearing can be currently remedied with surgical implantation of a cochlear implant. Although these implants can reproduce the sensation of hearing, poor resolution is obtained due to the production of a noise that patients experience. This noise is an effect created by stimulating more than one region of the basilar membrane within the cochlea. The distance between the transmitting electrode and the receiving hearing elements allows the signal to spread across the distance and stimulate multiple regions responsible for translating mechanical vibrations to pitches. The solution is to regenerate and guide spiral ganglion neurites to decrease or contact the electrode implant. This is investigated through using photopolymerization to synthesize materials with surface features that neurons can be cultured too. This research mainly investigates material properties for systems of varying concentrations of hexyl methyl methacrylate (HMA) with 1,6 hexanediol dimethacrylate (HDDMA) and polyethylene glycol dimethacrylate (PEGDMA) with ethylene glycol dimethacrylate (EGDMA). The HMA and HDDMA system can be controlled to vary surface polarity with a relatively constant elastic modulus while the PEGDMA and EGDMA system can be controlled to exhibit varied elastic modulus properties while maintaining a relatively constant surface polarity.

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See more of this Session: Student Poster Session: Materials Engineering and Sciences
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