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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 294679, 11 pages
Research Article

Comparative Study of Various Delivery Methods for the Supply of Alpha-Ketoglutarate to the Neural Cells for Tissue Engineering

1Department of Biological Sciences and Bioengineering, Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, Kanpur 208016, India
2Thematic Unit of Excellence on Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, Kanpur 208016, India

Received 6 April 2013; Accepted 7 June 2013

Academic Editor: Juergen Buenger

Copyright © 2013 Tanushree Vishnoi and Ashok Kumar. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Delivery of growth factors or bioactive molecules plays an important role in tissue engineering, as the duration to which these are supplied can modulate the cell fate. Thus, the delivery method plays an important role, and the same is presented in this work wherein the exogenous supply of alpha-ketoglutarate (α-KG) gave better results for fast proliferating cells as compared to delivery by microspheres or microspheres incorporated scaffolds which can be used while culturing slow growing cells. All these studies were performed in two dimensional (2D) and three dimensional (3D) setups in which chitosan-gelatin-polypyrrole has been used as 3-D scaffolds. Chitosan and gelatin microspheres alone as well as incorporated in the cryogels were characterized. MTT assay done using neuro-2a cell line showed approximately 42% and 70% increment in cellular proliferation when gelatin and chitosan microspheres were added in a 3-D setup, respectively, as compared to the control. Biochemical analysis of ammonia showed 6-fold reductions in ammonia level in a 3-D setup compared to the control. We also studied the synthesis of a neurotransmitter-like glutamate and found that its concentration increased up to 0.25 mg/ml when the microspheres were added exogenously in a 3-D system.