HOT review: Forming the wiring of the nervous system – discovering the mechanisms of axon guidance through new technologies

Today’s HOT article is a review article that was featured on the front cover of our Neuroengineering themed issue.

In this review, Santiago Costantino et al. at the University of Montreal and McGill University, Canada, critically discuss the most recent insights into axon guidance that have been enabled by developments in methods and technologies for engineered cell substrates.

This review includes:

  1. Extracellular cues and growth cones
  2. Historical background
  3. The stripe assay in discovery of guidance cues and signalling mechanisms
  4. Microcontact printing – development from the stripe assay
  5. Insights via microfluidics
  6. Studies using laser-assisted printing and patterning 3D hydrogels

The focus is on the biological insights into how axons recognise and interpret external signals in order to reach their synaptic target that have come out of using these technologies, rather than the development of the technology itself. This cover article is still free to access for another couple of weeks*, read it now by clicking the link below:

Engineered cell culture substrates for axon guidance studies: moving beyond proof of concept
Joannie Roy, Timothy E. Kennedy and Santiago Costantino
DOI: 10.1039/C2LC41002H

*Free access to individuals is provided through an RSC Publishing personal account. Registration is quick, free and simple

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