Journal of Biotechnology & Biomaterials
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Current study focused on utilizing sericin as a substrate to induce neuroblastoma differentiation. Silk protein was extracted
from bombyx silk cocoon by degumming using sodium bicarbonate. The resulting silk fiber was dissolved in Lithium
bromide solution (~10M) and excess lithium bromide was removed via dialysis. The solubilized silk protein was sterilized and
used for coating petri dishes and utilized in cell culture. N2a cells were culture on substrates coated with sericin and evaluated
for proliferation and differentiation abilities. Mouse N2a neuroblastoma cells were cultured in Dulbecco's medium containing
10% fetal bovine serum. For proliferation assay, Cell growth was measured by counting viable cells using the Trypan Blue dye
exclusion. For differentiation induction assay, cells were monitored by morphological appearance of neurite outgrowth.
It was determined that sericin improved cell adhesion and promoted growth inhibition of neuroblastoma cells. However
the cells were growth inhibited and failed to proliferate beyond the seeding density. Cells failed to develop neurite outgrowth,
implying sericin was not effective as a differentiation substrate. Adding small molecule inducers along with sericin coating
induced differentiation comparable to differentiation achieved without sericin coating.
This study implies that external substrate modification alone was ineffective in inducing differentiation and small molecule
inducers are eminent for committing the cells to differentiation pathway.
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