There has been an increasing amount of research on the effects of age on the bodies systems, most importantly the locomotor system1. As with age, injury to the spinal cord resulting from trauma, neurodegenerative diseases, or ischemia are the leading causes of disability in humans2. All factors are exacerbated by an increase in age, and is accompanied by a reduction in the number and diameter of motor neurons within the spinal cord3. The reduction in density of cells within the spinal cord leaves the elderly with decreased muscular strength and a stooped posture. In extreme cases, disability can occur such that the individual may be unable to walk. Unfortunately, unlike skin, hair or liver cells, humans lack the ability for cell regeneration on command or whenever trauma occurs at the site of injury within the spinal cord. The injection of external cells into the injured site has been heavily proposed. However, neurons cannot be directly injected into degenerated site, they must first be grown ex vivo prior to injection. Despite many attempts, and ethical issues, much of the literature includes results done on animal subjects which may also reflect the success towards human subjects. Recent publications have shown promise with the use of engineered 3D nano scaffolds for repairing neural damage and initiating the growth of new neuronal stem cells2. A nanomaterial is an object with at least dimensions in the range of 10-100nm, can exhibit surface properties that are attractive for translocational properties in tissues3. It has been hypothesized the environment and biochemical cues of the 3D micro-environment provides the correct biochemical, topographical and chemical cues fo...
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...15. However, current research is lagging to confidently comment on the presence of metal NP affecting the processes of outgrowth at the growth cones.
Surface topographies influenced by Au deposition represents the main driving force influencing, growth behavior and functionality of neurons with outstanding differences between smooth and nano-rough surfaces. These results have been achievable because NPs have been extensively studied due to their beneficial properties such as high chemical stability, biocompatibility, and well-controlled size15. The following results has displayed the surface properties of topology to greatly affect neuronal cell growth. As such, coming research should focus on varying substrate topographies to induce best benefits towards the behavior and morphology of different cell cultures for enhanced tissue engineering for stem cell therapy.
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