Conductive hydrogel based on chitosan-aniline pentamer/gelatin/agarose significantly promoted motor neuron-like cells differentiation of human olfactory ecto-mesenchymal stem cells

Zohreh Bagher, Zhaleh Atoufi, Rafieh Alizadeh, Mohammad Farhadi, Payam Zarrintaj, Lorenzo Moroni, Mohsen Setayeshmehr, Ali Komeili, S. Kamran Kamrava*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Developing a simple produces for efficient derivation of motor neurons (MNs) is essential for neural tissue engineering studies. Stem cells with high capacity for neural differentiation and scaffolds with the potential to promote motor neurons differentiation are promising candidates for neural tissue engineering. Recently, human olfactory ecto-mesenchymal stem cells (OE-MSCs), which are isolated easily from the olfactory mucosa, are considered a new hope for neuronal replacement due to their neural crest origin. Herein, we synthesized conducting hydrogels using different concentration of chitosan-g-aniline pentamer, gelatin, and agarose. The chemical structures, swelling and deswelling ratio, ionic conductivity and thermal properties of the hydrogel were characterized. Scaffolds with 10% chitosan-g-aniline pentamer/gelatin (S10) were chosen for further investigation and the potential of OE-MSCs as a new source for programming to motor neuron-like cells investigated on tissue culture plate (TCP) and conductive hydrogels. Cell differentiation was evaluated at the level of mRNA and protein synthesis and indicated that conductive hydrogels significantly increased the markers related to motor neurons including Hb-9, Islet-1 and ChAT compared to TCP. Taken together, the results suggest that OE-MSCs would be successfully differentiated into motor neuron-like cells on conductive hydrogels and would have a promising potential for treating motor neuron-related diseases.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)243-253
Number of pages11
JournalMaterials Science & Engineering C-Materials for Biological Applications
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2019


  • Conductive polymers
  • Aniline pentamer
  • Motor neuron differentiation
  • Nasal ectomesenchymal stem cells

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