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Dielectrophoretical fabrication of hybrid carbon nanotubes-hydrogel biomaterial for muscle tissue engineering applications

  • Javier Ramón-Azcón (a1), Samad Ahadian (a1), Raquel Obregon (a2), Hitoshi Shiku (a2), Ali Khademhosseini (a1) (a3) and Tomokazu Matsue (a1) (a2)...

Abstract

Dielectrophoresis (DEP) approach was employed to achieve highly aligned multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) within the gelatin methacrylate (GelMA) hydrogels in a facile, rapid, inexpensive, and reproducible manner. This approach enabled us to make different CNTs alignments (e.g., vertical or horizontal alignments) within the GelMA hydrogel using different electrode designs or configurations. Anisotropically aligned GelMA-CNTs hydrogels showed considerably higher conductivity compared to randomly distributed CNTs dispersed in the GelMA hydrogel and the pristine and non-conductive GelMA hydrogel. Adding 0.3 mg/mL CNTs to the GelMA hydrogel led to a slight increase in the mechanical properties of the GelMA and made it to behave as a viscoelastic material. Therefore, it can be used as a suitable scaffold for soft tissues, such as skeletal muscle tissue. 3D microarrays of skeletal muscle myofibers were then fabricated based on the GelMA and GelMA-CNTs hydrogels and they were characterized in terms of gene expressions related to the muscle cell differentiation and contraction. Owing to high electrical conductivity of aligned GelMA-CNTs hydrogels, the engineered muscle tissues cultivated on these materials demonstrated superior maturation and functionality particularly after applying the electrical stimulation (voltage 8 V, frequency 1 Hz, and duration 10 ms for 2 days) compared to the corresponding tissues obtained on the pristine GelMA and randomly distributed CNTs within the GelMA hydrogel.

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Keywords

Dielectrophoretical fabrication of hybrid carbon nanotubes-hydrogel biomaterial for muscle tissue engineering applications

  • Javier Ramón-Azcón (a1), Samad Ahadian (a1), Raquel Obregon (a2), Hitoshi Shiku (a2), Ali Khademhosseini (a1) (a3) and Tomokazu Matsue (a1) (a2)...

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