Multicompartment Microreactors Prevent Excitotoxic Dysfunctions In Rat Primary Cortical Neurons

Adam Armada-Moreira, Joana E. Coelho, Luísa V. Lopes, Ana M. Sebastião, Brigitte Städler, Sandra H. Vaz*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Excitotoxicity is a cellular phenomenon that comprises the consequences of toxic actions of excitatory neurotransmitters, such as glutamate. This process is usually related to overproduction of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and ammonia (NH4+) toxicity. Platinum nanoparticle (Pt-NP)-based microreactors able to degrade hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and NH4+, are previously described as a novel therapeutical approach against excitotoxicity, conferring protection to neuroblasts. Now, it is demonstrated that these microreactors are compatible with rat primary cortical neurons, show high levels of neuronal membrane interaction, and are able to improve cell survival and neuronal activity when neurons are exposed to H2O2 or NH4+. Additionally, more complex microreactors are assembled, including enzyme-loaded liposomes containing glutamate dehydrogenase and glutathione reductase, in addition to Pt-NP. The in vitro activity of these microreactors is characterized and they are compared to the Pt-NP-based microreactors in terms of biological activity, concluding that they enhance cell viability similarly or more extensively than the latter. Extracellular electrophysiological recordings demonstrate that these microreactors rescue neuronal functionality lost upon incubation with H2O2 or NH4+. This study provides more evidence for the potential application of these microreactors in a biomedical context with more complex cellular environments.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2000139
JournalAdvanced Biosystems
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020


  • encapsulated catalysis
  • excitotoxicity
  • microreactors
  • platinum nanoparticles
  • rat cortical primary neurons


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