Most biomaterials widely used in nerve regeneration are either inert or modified with ECM proteins or their epitopes. Neurotransmitters play a key role in neuronal development and function. Thus we decided to investigate the feasibility of using neurotransmitters to create biofunctional materials that actively engage nerve cells to achieve functional restoration after injury of the nervous system. Our data indicated that a properly designed biodegradable polymer with dopamine functional groups was more capable of promoting neurite growth. Such biofunctional materials can potentially provide a new strategy for nerve regeneration.