Hybrid hydrogels containing vertically aligned carbon nanotubes with anisotropic electrical conductivity for muscle myofiber fabrication

Samad Ahadian, Javier Ramón-Azcón, Mehdi Estili, Xiaobin Liang, Serge Ostrovidov, Hitoshi Shiku, Murugan Ramalingam, Ken Nakajima, Yoshio Sakka, Hojae Bae, Tomokazu Matsue, Ali Khademhosseini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

141 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Biological scaffolds with tunable electrical and mechanical properties are of great interest in many different fields, such as regenerative medicine, biorobotics, and biosensing. In this study, dielectrophoresis (DEP) was used to vertically align carbon nanotubes (CNTs) within methacrylated gelatin (GelMA) hydrogels in a robust, simple, and rapid manner. GelMA-aligned CNT hydrogels showed anisotropic electrical conductivity and superior mechanical properties compared with pristine GelMA hydrogels and GelMA hydrogels containing randomly distributed CNTs. Skeletal muscle cells grown on vertically aligned CNTs in GelMA hydrogels yielded a higher number of functional myofibers than cells that were cultured on hydrogels with randomly distributed CNTs and horizontally aligned CNTs, as confirmed by the expression of myogenic genes and proteins. In addition, the myogenic gene and protein expression increased more profoundly after applying electrical stimulation along the direction of the aligned CNTs due to the anisotropic conductivity of the hybrid GelMA-vertically aligned CNT hydrogels. We believe that platform could attract great attention in other biomedical applications, such as biosensing, bioelectronics, and creating functional biomedical devices.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4271
JournalScientific reports
Volume4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Mar 19

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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