Long-term culture of pluripotent stem-cell-derived human neurons on diamond - A substrate for neurodegeneration research and therapy

Paul A. Nistor, Paul W. May*, Francesco Tamagnini, Andy D Randall, Maeve A. Caldwell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)
381 Downloads (Pure)


Brain Computer Interfaces (BCI) currently represent a field of intense research aimed both at understanding neural circuit physiology and at providing functional therapy for traumatic or degenerative neurological conditions. Due to its chemical inertness, biocompatibility and stability, diamond is currently being actively investigated as a potential substrate material for culturing cells and for use as the electrically active component of a neural sensor. Here we provide a protocol for the differentiation of mature, electrically active neurons on microcrystalline synthetic thin-film diamond substrates starting from undifferentiated pluripotent stem cells. Furthermore, we investigate the optimal characteristics of the diamond microstructure for long-term neuronal sustainability. We also analyze the effect of boron as a dopant for such a culture. We found that the diamond crystalline structure has a significant influence on the neuronal culture unlike the boron doping. Specifically, small diamond microcrystals promote higher neurite density formation. We find that boron incorporated into the diamond does not influence the neurite density and has no deleterious effect on cell survival.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-149
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2015


  • Boron-doped diamond
  • Diamond substrate
  • Long term culture
  • Neurodegeneration research
  • Neuronal differentiation
  • Neuronal survival
  • Pluripotent stem cells
  • Invited talk

    Paul W May (Participant)

    23 May 2016

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesInvited talk

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