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Journal of Neural Transplantation and Plasticity
Volume 5, Issue 4, Pages 245-255

Intracerebral Implantation of Hydrogel-Coupled Adhesion Peptides: Tissue Reaction

1Québec Biomaterials Insitute, Hôpital Saint-François d’Assise, 10 rue de I'Espinay, Québec G1L 3L5, Canada
2Centre de Recherche en Neurobiologie, Hôpital de l’Enfant-Jésus, Québec, Canada
3Central Research Institute for Chemistry, Budapest, Hungary
4Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry, Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague, Czech Republic

Copyright © 1995 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. 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.


Arg-Gly-Asp peptides (RGD) were synthesized and chemically coupled to the bulk of N-(2-hydroxypropyl) methacrylamide-based polymer hydrogels. Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FFIR) and amino acid analysis confirmed the peptide coupling to the polymer. Activated and control (unmodified) polymer matrices were stereotaxically implanted in the striata of rat brains, and two months later the brains were processed for immunohistochemistry using antibodies for glial acidic fibrillary protein (GFAP), laminin and neurofilaments. RGD-containing polymer matrices promoted stronger adhesion to the host tissue than the unmodified polymer matrices. In addition, the RGD-grafted polymer implants promoted and supported the growth and spread of GFAP-positive glial tissue onto and into the hydrogels. Neurofilament-positive fibers were also seen running along the surface of the polymer and, in some instances, penetrating the matrix. These findings are discussed in the context of using bioactive polymers as a new approach for promoting tissue repair and axonal regeneration of damaged structures of the central nervous system.