Biomimetic electroconductive scaffolds for muscle regenerative engineering

Xiaoyan Tang1, 2, 3, 4, Yusuf Khan1, 2, 3, 4, 5, Cato T. Laurencin1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6*

1Institute for Regenerative Engineering, Uconn Health, Farmington, CT 06030, USA

2Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Uconn Health, Farmington, CT 06030, USA

3Raymond and Beverly Sackler Center for Biological, Physical and Engineering Sciences, Uconn Health, Farmington, CT 06030, USA

4Department of Material Science and Engineering, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT 06269, USA

5Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT 06269, USA

6Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT 06269, USA

Adv. Mater. Lett., 2017, 8 (5), pp 587-591

DOI: 10.5185/amlett.2017.7106

Publication Date (Web): Apr 04, 2017



Conducting polymers are emerging as highly attractive materials since they can be used alone or in combination with other biomaterials to provide electrical stimulus for tissue regeneration. Here, we report the fabrication of a novel stimuli-responsive conducting polymer scaffold, which can be used to regulate muscle cell adhesion, proliferation and differentiation. Our goal in this study was to develop electroconductive nanofiber polymer scaffolds that can modulate the cellular physical microenvironment to increase electrical communication between cells and ultimately generate a more robust and functional construct for muscle regeneration. Matrices such as those designed here could have a significant impact in the clinical setting, where muscle atrophy and fatty infiltration prevent healing of common injuries such as rotator cuff tears. The bio-interface consists of a conducting polymer, poly (3,4ethylenedioxythiophene): poly (styrenesulfonate) (PEDOT: PSS), with a dopamine-polymerized biodegradable substrate made from poly (ε-carprolactone) (PCL) that is rationally assembled together based on the native structure of muscle fibers. XPS analysis confirmed that poly (dopamine) deposition on the PCL scaffolds was successful. The coating of PEDOT: PSS on the poly(dopamine) modified PCL scaffolds was stable as both representative peaks were shown. C2C12 cells, a myoblast cell line was cultured on conductive substrates with different concentrations. Biocompatibility and cellular proliferation of the conducting polymer scaffolds were assessed. It was found that conducting polymers scaffolds of all groups were biocompatible. PEDOT:PSS coating of a low and medium concentration(1% and 10%) showed stimulatory effect on C2C12 growth compared to the control groups. These results showed that the presence of PEDOT:PSS at optimum concentration might enhance C2C12 cell growth and proliferation. These conducting polymer scaffolds hold great promise as biomimetic platforms for skeletal muscle regeneration.


Conducting polymers, muscle tissue regeneration, intrinsic conductivity, bioelectronics.

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