The Synergistic Effect of Cationic Moieties and GRGDSF-Peptides in Hydrogels on Neural Stem Cell Behavior

Macromol Biosci. 2017 Mar;17(3). doi: 10.1002/mabi.201600178. Epub 2016 Oct 17.


This article reports the behavior of embryonic neural stem cells on a hydrogel that combines cationic, non-specific cell adhesion motifs with glycine-arginine-glycine-aspartic acid-serine-phenylalanine (GRGDSF)-peptides as specific cell adhesion moieties. Therefore, three hydrogels are prepared by free radical polymerization that contains either a GRGDSF-peptide residue (P1), amino ethylmethacrylate as a cationic residue (P2), or a combination of both motifs (P3). For each gel, cross linker concentrations of 8 mol% is used to have a comparable gel stiffness of 8-9 kPa. The cell experiments indicate a synergistic effect of the non-specific, cationic residues, and the specific GRGDSF-peptides on embryonic neural stem cell behavior that is especially pronounced in the cell adhesion experiments by more than doubling the number of cells after 72 h when comparing P3 with P2 and is less pronounced in the proliferation and differentiation experiments.

Keywords: NSC behavior 2D cell experiments; RGD-peptide; cationic hydrogels; embryonic NSCs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Motifs / genetics*
  • Animals
  • Cations / chemistry
  • Cell Adhesion / drug effects
  • Cell Differentiation / drug effects
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Hydrogel, Polyethylene Glycol Dimethacrylate / chemistry*
  • Methylmethacrylates / pharmacology
  • Mice
  • Neural Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Neural Stem Cells / drug effects
  • Peptides / chemistry*
  • Peptides / genetics
  • Peptides / pharmacology


  • Cations
  • Methylmethacrylates
  • Peptides
  • Hydrogel, Polyethylene Glycol Dimethacrylate
  • poly(ethylmethacrylate)