Research Training Group 2154 - Materials for Brain

Project 1b: Krathika Bhat

Effekt of Br and Li as alloying element for Mg-based thin film implants on cellular response

Magnesium (Mg) degrades within the human body under physiological conditions, which makes Mg a suitable biodegradable implant material. The therapeutic properties of Lithium (Li) have been well-established in bipolar disorder and have shown potential in reducing the symptoms of other neurodegenerative diseases. Bromide (Br) salts were traditionally used as an anti-seizure medication and still used in veterinary science to control seizures. Hence, Mg-Li and Mg-Br thin films could serve as neuroimplants which release Li and Br in therapeutic doses for targeted drug delivery. This can improve the bioavailability of the drugs, reduce systemic drug exposure and potentially reduce any associated side-effects. To develop a successful drug release system, it is necessary to ensure that the implant degradation and drug release rate do not result in adverse effects which outweigh the therapeutic effect of the drug. This demands a clear understanding of degradation behavior of the alloy in a brain-like environment and the cellular response to the implant and its degradation.
The project P1b focuses studying the cellular response to Mg-Li and Mg-Br thin films in monocultures and co-cultures of brain cells. In the first phase, cytotoxicity tests and degradation studies will be carried out with the alloy to establish a suitable thin film material in close collaboration with Project P1a. Further, cellular responses to the material such as inflammation will be tested by studying the relevant cell signaling pathways. It is also of interest to study the neuroprotective effects of the alloy on the cells, which could serve to reduce inflammation, apoptosis and formation of reactive oxygen species. In the later stages, these studies could be carried out in more complex environments like brain slice cultures.