Biomimetic electrical stimulation platform for neural differentiation of retinal progenitor cells

Annu Int Conf IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2013:2013:5666-9. doi: 10.1109/EMBC.2013.6610836.


Electrical activity is abundant in early retinal development, and electrical stimulation has been shown to modulate embryonic stem cell differentiation towards a neuronal fate. The goal of this study was to simulate in vitro retinal developmental electrical activity to drive changes in mouse retinal progenitor cell (mRPC) gene expression and morphology. We designed a biomimetic electrical stimulation protocol based on spontaneous waves present during retinal development, and applied it to retinal progenitor cells (RPCs) over 3 days of culture. Analysis of protein localization and calcium dynamics, indicate that mRPCs undergo functional neuronal maturation. Our findings suggest that this type of electrical stimulation may be utilized for application in neural tissue engineering and open possibilities for understanding mechanisms guiding active electric membrane development and functional organization during early retinogenesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomimetic Materials*
  • Calcium Signaling
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Electric Stimulation / instrumentation*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / genetics
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / metabolism
  • Retina / cytology*
  • Stem Cells / physiology*
  • Tissue Engineering / instrumentation*
  • Tissue Engineering / methods*


  • Nerve Tissue Proteins