279867 Design of a Biocompatible Electrically Conductive Composite for Neuroregeneration

Monday, October 29, 2012: 10:36 AM
Cambria West (Westin )
Erfan Soliman1, Sze C. Yang2, George W. Dombi2 and Sujata K. Bhatia3, (1)Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, (2)Department of Chemistry, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI, (3)School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

The objective of this work is to design an electrically conductive composite containing carbon nanobrushes (CNBs) for applications in neuroregeneration. The composite is prepared by suspending carbon nanobrushes in a biocompatible hydrogel such as Pluronic F127 poloxamer gel, a reverse phase-change mixture of variable chain length polyethylene glycol (PEG) that is hydrophilic and non-ionic. The end-design serves as a standard matrix for experiments involving stem cell and nerve cell growth in electrically conductive environments. This biocompatible composite is expected to be very important for enhancing the growth, differentiation, and branching of neurons in vitro in an electrically driven way. Furthermore, the project involves the formulation of a method to measure the electrical properties of the composite.

This work has thus far shown that carbon nanobrushes can be successfully suspended in Pluronic F127 poloxamer gels in a homogenous fashion. It has further exhibited that carbon nanobrushes can increase the conductivity of these hydrogels with great certainty beginning at CNB concentrations of less than 1vol%. This result indicates that carbon nanobrushes may potentially also be used to increase the conductivity of other hydrogels, such as agar and collagen, for relevant applications. The work has also shown that neural stem cells, adult neurons, and primary harvest neurons proliferate within the electrically conductive composite hydrogels.  These results are significant for the design of electrically conductive hydrogels that can be used in nerve cell regeneration and stem cell stimulation.


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See more of this Session: Biomaterials I
See more of this Group/Topical: Materials Engineering and Sciences Division