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DNA-functionalized calcium phosphate nanoparticles coated on a cochlear implant electrode
18 April 2018 (online)
So far, studies on a nanoparticle-mediated genetically active coating of a cochlear implant electrode are not existent. Such a coating of the electrode, which could be provided with a neurotrophin-encoding DNA, would provide a stable and controlled release over time of growth-promoting factors for the spiral ganglion cells. Because calcium phosphate nanoparticles constitute a DNA carrier system and also form a non-viral transfection system of surfaces, they can potentially be used as a biologically active coating of a cochlear implant electrode.
The physical, chemical and biological properties such as transfection efficiency and cytotoxicity of the calcium phosphate nanoparticles were investigated. The aim was to evaluate the functionalized nanoparticles in a spiral ganglion cell culture. These were freshly taken from neonatal rat cochlea and prepared for a dissociated cell culture and an organotypic explant culture and then cocultivated with differently functionalized calcium phosphate nanoparticles.
The nanoparticles were mainly uptaken in the non-neuronal cells and less in the spiral ganglion cells themselves. Cytotoxic effects by the nanoparticles could not be observed for a culture period of up to one week.
Calcium phosphate nanoparticles could be an interesting non-viral vector system for the transfection of genetic material into the inner ear. In particular, the possible coating of a cochlear implant electrode could thereby generate a long-term release of neurotrophic factors in the inner ear.
No conflict of interest has been declared by the author(s).