Mechanical and electrical properties of polycaprolactone fumarate-polypyrrole (PCLF-PPy) scaffolds were studied under physiological conditions to evaluate their ability to maintain material properties necessary for application as conductive nerve conduits. PC12 cells cultured on PCLF-PPy scaffolds were stimulated with regimens of 10 μA of constant or 20 Hz frequency current passed through the scaffolds for 1 h/day. PC12 cellular morphologies were analyzed by fluorescence microscopy after 48 h. PCLF-PPy scaffolds exhibited excellent mechanical properties at 37°C which would allow suturing and flexibility. The surface resistivity of the scaffolds was 2kΩ and the scaffolds were electrically stable during application of electrical stimulation (ES). In vitro studies showed significant increases in percentage of neurite bearing cells, number of neurites per cell and neurite length in the presence of ES compared to no ES. Additionally, extending neurites were observed to align in the direction of the applied current. This study shows that electrically conductive PCLF-PPy scaffolds possess material properties necessary for application as nerve conduits. Additionally, the capability to significantly enhance and direct neurite extension by passing electrical current through PCLF-PPy scaffolds renders them even more promising as future therapeutic treatments for severe nerve injuries.
Electrical Stimulation; Polypyrrole; Nerve; PCLF; PC12 cells
In an effort of achieving suitable biomaterials for peripheral nerve regeneration, we present a material design strategy of combining a crystallite-based physical network and a crosslink-based chemical network. Biodegradable polymer disks and conduits have been fabricated by photo-crosslinking three poly(ε-caprolactone fumarate)s (PCLF530, PCLF1250, and PCLF2000), which were synthesized from the precursor poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) diols with nominal molecular weights of 530, 1250, and 2000 g.mol−1, respectively. Thermal properties such as glass transition temperature (Tg), melting temperature (Tm), and crystallinity of photo-crosslinked PCLFs were examined and correlated with their rheological and mechanical properties. Furthermore, in vitro degradation of uncrosslinked and crosslinked PCLFs in PBS crosslinked PCLFs in 1 N NaOH aqueous solution at 37 °C was studied. In vitro cytocompatibility, attachment, and proliferation of Schwann cell precursor line SPL201 cells on three PCLF networks were investigated. Crosslinked PCLF2000 with the highest crystallinity and mechanical properties was found to best support cell attachment and proliferation. Using a new photo-crosslinking method, single-lumen crosslinked PCLF nerve conduits without defects were fabricated in a glass mold. Crosslinked PCLF2000 nerve conduits were selected for evaluation in a 1-cm gap rat sciatic nerve model. Histological evaluation demonstrated that the material was biocompatible with sufficient strength to hold sutures in place after 6 and 17 weeks of implantation. Nerve cable with myelinated axons was found in the crosslinked PCLF2000 nerve conduit.
Poly(ε-caprolactone fumarate); Photo-crosslinking; Peripheral nerve regeneration; Cell responses
Polycaprolactone fumarate (PCLF) is a cross-linkable derivate of polycaprolactone diol that has been shown to be an effective nerve conduit material that supports regeneration across segmental nerve defects and has warranted future clinical trials. Degradation of the previously studied PCLF (PCLFDEG) releases toxic small molecules of diethylene glycol used as the initiator for the synthesis of polycaprolactone diol. In an effort to eliminate this toxic degradation product we present a strategy for the synthesis of PCLF from either propylene glycol (PCLFPPD) or glycerol (PCLFGLY). PCLFPPD is linear and resembles the previously studied PCLFDEG, while PCLFGLY is branched and exhibits dramatically different material properties. The synthesis and characterization of their thermal, rheological, and mechanical properties are reported. The results show that the linear PCLFPPD has material properties similar to the previously studied PCLFDEG. The branched PCLFGLY exhibits dramatically lower crystalline properties resulting in lower rheological and mechanical moduli, and is therefore a more compliant material. In addition, the question of an appropriate FDA approvable sterilization method is addressed. This study shows that autoclave sterilization on PCLF materials is an acceptable sterilization method for cross-linked PCLF and has minimal effect on the PCLF thermal and mechanical properties.
Polycaprolactone fumarate; polyester; sterilization; nerve regeneration
Background and the purpose of the study
Biodegradable Poly(caprolactone fumarate) (PCLF) has been used as bioresorbable sutures. In this study, doxorubicin HCl (Dox) loaded PCLF nanoparticles were prepared and characterized.
Material and methods
PCLFs were synthesized by polycondensation of PCL diols (Mws of 530, 1250 and 2000) with fumaryl chloride. The degradation of PCLF in NaOH, water and phosphate buffer saline (PBS), was determined in terms of changes in Mw. Nanoparticles (NPs) were prepared by two methods. In microemulsion polymerization method, dichloromethane containing PCLF and photoinitiator were combined with the water containing surfactants and then the mixture was placed under light for crosslinking. In nanoprecipitation method, the organic solvent containing PCLF was poured into the stirring water. The effect of several variables including concentration of PCLF, polyvinyl alcohol (PVA), Dox and Trypan blue (Trb) and the Mw of PCLF and PVA on NP size and loading were evaluated.
PCLF 530, 1250 and 2000 in PBS or water were not degraded over 28 days. Nanoprecipitaion method gave spherical (revealed by SEM images) stable NPs of about 225 with narrow size distribution and a zeta potential of −43 mV. The size of NP increased significantly by increase in Mw or concentration of PCLF. Although PVA was not necessary for formation of NPs, but it decreased with NP size. Dox loading and EE were 2.5–6.8% and 15–20%, respectively. Increasing the drug concentration increased the drug loading (DL) and NP size. The entrapment efficiency (EE) for Trb ranged from 1% for PCLF530 to 6% for PCLF2000. An increase in PCLF concentration resulted in an increase in EE. Dox and Trb release showed a burst followed by 80% and 78% release during 3 and 4 days respectively.
PCLF possessed suitable characteristics for preparation of nanoparticulate drug delivery system such as desired NP size, stability and degradation time. Although PCLF530 NPs were the smallest, but their DL were lower than PCLF1250 and 2000 NPs.
PCLF nanoparticles; Copolymer molecular weight; Nanoprecipitation method
We present a material design strategy of combining crystallinity and crosslinking to control the mechanical properties of polymeric biomaterials. Three polycaprolactone fumarates (PCLF530, PCLF1250, and PCLF2000) synthesized from the precursor polycaprolactone (PCL) diols with nominal molecular weights of 530, 1250, and 2000 g.mol-1, respectively, were employed to fabricate polymer networks via photo-crosslinking process. Five different amounts of photo-crosslinking initiator were applied during fabrication in order to understand the role of photoinitiator in modulating the crosslinking characteristics and physical properties of PCLF networks. Thermal properties such as glass transition temperature (Tg), melting temperature (Tm), and degradation temperature (Td) of photo-crosslinked PCLFs were examined and correlated with their rheological and mechanical properties.
Polycaprolactone fumarate; Photo-crosslinking; Mechanical Properties
Numerous regenerating tissues respond favorably to electrical stimulation, creating a need for a bioactive conducting platform for tissue engineering applications. The drive for biosensors and electrode coatings further requires control of the surface properties of promising conductive materials such as polypyrrole. Here we present carboxy-endcapped polypyrrole (PPy-α-COOH), a unique bioactive conducting polymer with a carboxylic acid layer, composed of a polypyrrole (PPy) surface modified with pyrrole-α-carboxylic acid (Py-α-COOH). This unique structure is simple to produce, provides a stable bioactive surface via covalent bonds, and preserves bulk properties such as electrical conductivity and mechanical integrity. The chemical structure of this polymer composite was characterized by angle-resolved X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), which demonstrated the presence of carboxylic acid functionality on the top surface of conductive PPy. A four-point probe test was used to verify the similar conductivity of PPy-α-COOH compared to that of standard PPy. To demonstrate the potential to influence cellular activity, the carboxylic acid monolayer surface was grafted with the cell-adhesive Arg-Gly-Asp (RGD) motif. Human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) cultured on RGD-modified PPy-α-COOH demonstrated significantly higher adhesion and spreading than on the negative controls PPy-α-COOH and unmodified PPy.
Electrically conducting polymers such as polypyrrole (PPy) are important biomaterials in neural engineering applications, including neural probes, nerve conduits, and scaffolds for tissue and nerve regeneration. Surface modification of these polymers can introduce other valuable characteristics for neural interfacing in addition to electrical conductivity, such as topographical features and chemical bioactivity. Here, the patterning of PPy to create topographical cues for cells is reported. In particular, 1 and 2 µm wide PPy microchannels are fabricated using electron-beam (e-beam) lithography and electropolymerization. A systematic analysis of parameters controlling PPy micropatterning is performed, and finds that microchannel depth, roughness, and morphology are highly dependent on the e-beam writing current, polymerization current, PPy/dopant concentrations, and the polymerization time. Embryonic hippocampal neurons cultured on patterned PPy polarize (i.e., defined an axon) faster on this modified material, with a twofold increase in the number of cells with axons compared to cells cultured on unmodified PPy. These topographical features also have an effect on axon orientation but do not have a significant effect on overall axon length. This is the first investigation that studies controlled PPy patterning with small dimensions (i.e., less than 5 µm) for biological applications, which demonstrates the relevance of expanding microelectronic materials and techniques to the biomedical field.
Two poly(ε-caprolactone fumarate)s (PCLFs) with distinct physical properties have been employed to prepare nanocomposites with hydroxyapatite (HA) nanoparticles via photo-crosslinking. The two PCLFs are PCLF530 and PCLF2000, named after their precursor PCL diol molecular weight of 530 and 2000 g.mol-1, respectively. Crosslinked PCLF530 is amorphous while crosslinked PCLF2000 is semi-crystalline with a melting temperature (Tm) of ∼40 °C and a crystallinity of 40%. Consequently, the rheological and mechanical properties of crosslinked PCLF2000 are significantly greater than those of crosslinked PCLF530. Structural characterizations and physical properties of both series of crosslinked PCLF/HA nanocomposites with HA compositions of 0%, 5%, 10%, 20%, and 30% have been investigated. By adding HA nanoparticles, crosslinked PCLF530/HA nanocomposites demonstrate enhanced rheological and mechanical properties while the enhancement in compressive modulus is less prominent in crosslinked PCLF2000/HA nanocomposites. In vitro cell attachment and proliferation have been performed using rat bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs) and correlated with the material properties. Cell attachment and proliferation on crosslinked PCLF530/HA nanocomposite disks have been enhanced strongly with increasing the HA composition. However, surface morphology and surface chemistry such as composition, hydrophilicity, and the capability of adsorbing protein cannot be used to interpret the cell responses on different samples. Instead, the role of surface stiffness in regulating cell responses can be supported by the correlation between the change in compressive modulus and BMSC proliferation on these two series of crosslinked PCLFs and PCLF/HA nanocomposites.
Polycaprolactone fumarate (PCLF); Hydroxyapatite (HA); Nanocomposite; Photo-crosslinking; Bone marrow stromal cell responses
Electroactive polymers such as polypyrrole (PPy) are highly attractive for a number of biomedical applications, including their use as coatings for electrodes or neural probes and as scaffolds to induce tissue regeneration. Surface modification of these materials with biological moieties is desired to enhance the biomaterial-tissue interface and to promote desired tissue responses. Here, we present the synthesis and physicochemical characterization of poly(1-(2-carboxyethyl)pyrrole) (PPyCOOH), a PPy derivative that contains a chemical group that can be easily modified with biological moieties at the N-position of polymer backbone. FTIR, XPS, and fluorescence microscopy were used to demonstrate the successful incorporation of carboxylic acid (-COOH) functionality into PPy materials, and a four-point probe analysis was used to demonstrate electrical conductivity in the semiconductor range. Human umbilical vascular endothelial cells (HUVECs) cultured on PPyCOOH films surface modified with the cell-adhesive Arg-Gly-Asp (RGD) motif demonstrated improved attachment and spreading. Thus, PPyCOOH could be useful in developing PPy composites that contain a variety of biological molecules as bioactive conducting platforms for specific biomedical purposes.
A novel self-crosslinkable and biodegradable macromer poly(caprolactone fumarate) (PCLF) has been developed for guided bone regeneration. This macromer is a copolymer of fumaryl chloride, which contains double bonds for in-situ crosslinking, and poly(ε-caprolactone) that has a flexible chain to facilitate self-crosslinkability. PCLF was characterized with Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, 1H and 13C nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, and gel permeation chromatography (GPC). Porous scaffolds were fabricated with sodium chloride particles as the porogen and a chemical initiation system. The PCLF scaffolds were characterized with scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and micro-computed tomography (micro-CT). The cytotoxicity and in vivo biocompatibility of PCLF were also assessed. Our results suggest that this novel copolymer, PCLF, is an injectable, self-crosslinkable, and biocompatible macromer that may be potentially used as a scaffold for tissue engineering applications.
Polypyrrole (PPy) and polypyrrole-carboxylic functionalized multi wall carbon nanotube composites (PPy/f-MWCNT) were synthesized by in situ chemical oxidative polymerization of pyrrole on the carbon nanotubes (CNTs). The structure of the resulting complex nanotubes was characterized by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and X-ray diffraction (XRD). The effects of f-MWCNT concentration on the electrical properties of the resulting composites were studied at temperatures between 100 K and 300 K. The Hall mobility and Hall coefficient of PPy and PPy/f-MWCNT composite samples with different concentrations of f-MWCNT were measured using the van der Pauw technique. The mobility decreased slightly with increasing temperature, while the conductivity was dominated by the gradually increasing carrier density.
polypyrrole; carbon nanotube; Hall effect; conductivity
A variety of cell types respond to electrical stimuli, accordingly many conducting polymers (CPs) have been used as tissue engineering (TE) scaffolds, one such CP is polypyrrole (PPy). PPy is a well studied biomaterial with potential TE applications due to its electrical conductivity and many other beneficial properties. Combining its characteristics with an elastomeric material, such as polyurethane (PU), may yield a hybrid scaffold with electrical activity and significant mechanical resilience. Pyrrole was in situ polymerized within a PU emulsion mixture in weight ratios of 1:100, 1:20, 1:10 and 1:5, respectively. Morphology, electrical conductivity, mechanical properties and cytocompatibility with C2C12 myoblast cells were characterized. The polymerization resulted in a composite with a principle base of PU interspersed with an electrically percolating network of PPy nanoparticles. As the mass ratio of PPy to PU increased so did electrical conductivity of the composites. In addition, as the mass ratio of PPy to PU increased, stiffness of the composite increased while maximum elongation length decreased. Ultimate tensile strength was reduced by approximately 47% across all samples with the addition of PPy to the PU base. Cytocompatibility assay data indicated no significant cytotoxic effect from the composites. Static cellular seeding of C2C12 cells and subsequent differentiation showed myotube formation on the composite materials.
Tissue Engineering; Polyurethane; Polypyrrole; Myoblast; Electrical Conduction
Polypyrrole/single wall carbon nanotube composites were synthesized by in-situ chemical polymerization using pyrrole (PPy) as precursor and single wall carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) as additive component. Electron microscope images reveal that SWNTs component acts as nucleation sites for PPy growth in the form of spherical and cylindrical core-shell structures. The SWNTs/PPy core-shell results in thin n-p junctions which modify the PPy bandgap and reduce the work function of electrons. As a result of the strong coupling, Raman and IR spectra show that the PPy undergoes a transition from polaron to bipolaron state, i.e., indicating an increase in the conductivity. In the UV-Vis spectra, the 340 nm adsorption band (π*-π transition) exhibits a red shift, while the 460 nm adsorption band (bipolaron transition) experiences a blue shift indicating a change in electronic structure and a relocation of polaron levels in the band gap of PPy. The modification in PPy electronic structure brings in a synergistic effect in sensing feature. Upon exposure to oxygen (an oxidizing agent) and NH3 gas (a reducing agent), the PPy/SWNTs nanocomposite shows an enhancement in sensitivity exceeding ten folds in comparison with those of PPy or SWNTs.
PPy; single wall carbon nanotube; nanocomposite; gas sensor
Aiming to achieve suitable polymeric biomaterials with controlled physical properties for hard and soft tissue replacements, we have developed a series of blends consisting of two photo-crosslinkable polymers: polypropylene fumarate (PPF) and polycaprolactone fumarate (PCLF). Physical properties of both uncrosslinked and UV crosslinked PPF/PCLF blends with PPF composition ranging from 0% to 100% have been investigated extensively. It has been found that the physical properties such as thermal, rheological, and mechanical properties could be modulated efficiently by varying the PPF composition in the blends. Thermal properties including glass transition temperature (Tg) and melting temperature (Tm) have been correlated with their rheological and mechanical properties. Surface characteristics such as surface morphology, hydrophilicity and the capability of adsorbing serum protein from culture medium have also been examined for the crosslinked polymer and blend discs. For potential applications in bone and nerve tissue engineering, in vitro cell studies including cytotoxicity, cell adhesion, and proliferation on crosslinked discs with controlled physical properties have been performed using rat bone marrow stromal cells and SPL201 cells, respectively. In addition, the role of mechanical properties such as surface stiffness in modulating cell responses has been emphasized using this model blend system.
Photo-crosslinking; Polymer blends; Poly(propylene fumarate) (PPF); Poly(caprolactone fumarate) (PCLF); Controlled physical properties; Cell responses
Electrically conductive polymers, such as polypyrrole (PPy), show promise for modifying the dimensions and properties of micro- and nanoscale structures. Mechanisms for controlling the formation of PPy films of nanoscale thickness were evaluated by electrochemically synthesizing and examining PPy films on planar gold electrodes under a variety of growth conditions. Tunable PPy coatings were then deposited by electropolymerization on the sidewalls of individual, electrically addressable carbon nanofibers (CNFs). The ability to modify the physical size of specific nanofibers in controllable fashion is demonstrated. The biocompatibility, potential for chemical functionalization, and ability to effect volume changes of this nanocomposite can lead to advanced functionality, such as specific, nanoscale valving of materials and morphological control at the nanoscale.
Carbon nanofibers; Polypyrrole; Electropolymerization; Surface modification; Nanomaterial
Polypyrrole (PPy) is an inherently conducting polymer that has shown great promise for biomedical applications within the nervous system. However, to effectively use PPy as a biomaterial implant, it is important to understand and reproducibly control the electrical properties, physical topography, and surface chemistry of the polymer. Although there is much research published on the use of PPy in various applications, there is no systematic study linking the methodologies used for PPy synthesis to PPy’s basic polymeric properties (e.g., hydrophilicity, surface roughness), and to the biological effects these properties have on cells. Electrochemically synthesized PPy films differ greatly in their characteristics depending on synthesis parameters such as dopant, substrate, and thickness, among other parameters. In these studies, we have used three dopants (chloride (Cl), tosylate (ToS), polystyrene sulfonate (PSS)), two substrates (gold and indium tin oxide-coated glass), and a range of thicknesses, to measure and compare the biomedically-important characteristics of surface roughness, contact angle, conductivity, dopant stability, and cell adhesion (using PC-12 cells and Schwann cells). As predicted, we discovered large differences in roughness depending on the dopant used and the thickness of the film, while substrate choice had little effect. From contact angle measurements, PSS was found to yield the most hydrophilic material, most likely because of free charges from the long PSS chains exposed on the surface of the PPy. ToS-doped PPy films were tenfold more conductive than Cl- or PSS-doped films. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy studies were used to evaluate dopant concentrations of PPy films stored in water and phosphate buffered saline over 14 days, and conductance studies over the same timeframe measured electrical stability. PSS proved to be the most stable dopant, though all films experienced significant decay in conductivity and dopant concentration. Cell adhesion studies demonstrated the dependence of cell outcome on film thickness and dopant choice. The strengths and weaknesses of different synthesis parameters, as demonstrated by these experiments, are critical design factors that must be leveraged when designing biomedical implants. The results of these studies should provide practical insight to researchers working with conducting polymers, and particularly PPy, on the relationships between synthesis parameters, polymeric properties, and biological compatibility.
polypyrrole; conducting polymers; electrochemical synthesis; characterization; biocompatibility; conductivity
Electrospinning is a promising approach to create nanofiber structures that are capable of supporting adhesion and guiding extension of neurons for nerve regeneration. Concurrently, electrical stimulation of neurons in the absence of topographical features also has been shown to guide axonal extension. Therefore, the goal of this study was to form electrically conductive nanofiber structures and to examine the combined effect of nanofiber structures and electrical stimulation. Conductive meshes were produced by growing polypyrrole (PPy) on random and aligned electrospun poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) nanofibers, as confirmed by scanning electron micrographs and X-ray photon spectroscopy. PPy-PLGA electrospun meshes supported the growth and differentiation of rat pheochromocytoma 12 (PC12) cells and hippocampal neurons comparable to non-coated PLGA control meshes, suggesting that PPy-PLGA may be suitable as conductive nanofibers for neuronal tissue scaffolds. Electrical stimulation studies showed that PC12 cells, stimulated with a potential of 10 mV/cm on PPy-PLGA scaffolds, exhibited 40–50% longer neurites and 40–90% more neurite formation compared to unstimulated cells on the same scaffolds. In addition, stimulation of the cells on aligned PPy-PLGA fibers resulted in longer neurites and more neurite-bearing cells than stimulation on random PPy-PLGA fibers, suggesting a combined effect of electrical stimulation and topographical guidance and the potential use of these scaffolds for neural tissue applications.
polypyrrole; nanofibers; nerve tissue engineering; electrical stimulation; PC12 cells; hippocampal neurons
Polypyrrole (PPy) is a conjugated polymer that displays particular electronic properties including conductivity. In biomedical applications, it is usually electrochemically generated with the incorporation of any anionic species including also negatively charged biological macromolecules such as proteins and polysaccharides to give composite materials. In biomedical research, it has mainly been assessed for its role as a reporting interface in biosensors. However, there is an increasing literature on the application of PPy as a potentially electrically addressable tissue/cell support substrate. Here, we review studies that have considered such PPy based conducting polymers in direct contact with biological tissues and conclude that due to its versatile functional properties, it could contribute to a new generation of biomaterials.
biomaterials; conducting polymers; polypyrrole; tissue; cells
In this paper, we report on the simple, reliable synthesis of polypyrrole (PPy)/graphene oxide (GO) composite nanosheets by using sacrificial-template polymerization method. Herein, MnO2 nanoslices were chosen as a sacrificial-template to deposit PPy, which served as the oxidant as well. During the polymerization of pyrrole on surface of GO nanosheets, MnO2 component was consumed incessantly. As a result, the PPy growing on the surface of GO nanosheets has the morphology just like the MnO2 nanoslices. This method can provide the fabrication of PPy nanostructures more easily than conventional route due to its independence of removing template, which usually is a complex and tedious experimental process. The as-prepared PPy/GO composite nanosheets exhibited an enhanced properties for Cr(VI) ions removal in aqueous solution based on the synergy effect. The adsorption capacity of the PPy/GO composite nanosheets is about two times as large as that of conventional PPy nanoparticles. We believe that our findings can open a new and effective avenue to improve the adsorption performance in removing heavy metal ions from waste water.
An improved approach to assemble ultrathin and thickness-tunable polypyrrole (PPy) films onto multiwall carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) has been investigated. A facile procedure is demonstrated for controlling the morphology and thickness of PPy film by adding ethanol in the reaction system and a possible mechanism of the coating formation process is proposed. The coated PPy films can be easily tuned by adding ethanol and adjusting a mass ratio of pyrrole to MWCNTs. Moreover, the thickness of PPy significantly influences the electronic conductivity and capacitive behavior of the PPy/MWCNT composites. The method may provide a facile strategy for tailoring the polymer coating on carbon nanotubes (CNTs) for carbon-based device applications.
Here we explored a novel ZnO nanorod array template-assisted electrodeposition route to synthesize large-scale single-walled polypyrrole (PPy) nanotube arrays (NTAs) and multi-walled MnO2/PPy/MnO2 NTAs. The structures of nanotubes, such as external and inner diameters, wall thicknesses, and lengths, can be well controlled by adjusting the diameters and lengths of ZnO nanorods and deposition time. The synthesized hybrid MnO2/PPy/MnO2 triple-walled nanotube arrays (TNTAs) as electrodes showed high supercapacitive perporties, excellent long-term cycling stability, and high energy and power densities. The PPy layers in MnO2/PPy/MnO2 TNTAs provide reliable electrical connections to MnO2 shells and uniquely serve as highly conductive cores to support the redox reactions in the active two-double MnO2 shells with highly electrolytic accessible surface area. The fabricated multi-walled NTAs allow high efficient utilization of electrode materials with facilitated transports of ions and electrons. The outstanding performance makes MnO2/PPy/MnO2 TNTAs promising candidates for supercapacitor electrodes.
We have developed a new fabrication technique to create three-dimensional (3D) porous poly(ε-caprolactone fumarate) (PCLF) scaffolds using hydrogel microparticle porogens, as an alternative to overcome certain limitations of traditional scaffold fabrication techniques such as a salt leaching method. Both natural hydrogel, gelatin, and synthetic hydrogel, poly(ethylene glycol) sebacic acid diacrylate, were used as porogens to fabricate 3D porous PCLF scaffolds. Hydrogel microparticles were prepared by a single emulsion technique with the particle size in the range of 100–500 μm after equilibrium in water. The pore size distribution, porosity, pore interconnectivity, and spatial pore heterogeneity of the 3D PCLF scaffolds were assessed using micro-computed tomography and imaging analysis. Scaffolds fabricated with the hydrogel porogens had higher porosity and pore interconnectivity as well as more homogeneous spatial pore distribution, compared to the scaffolds made from the salt leaching process. Compressive moduli of the scaffolds were also measured and showed that lower porosity yielded greater modulus of the scaffolds. Overall, the new fabrication technology using hydrogel porogens may be beneficial for certain tissue engineering applications.
An electrically controlled drug release (ECDR) system based on sponge-like nanostructured conducting polymer (CP) polypyrrole (PPy) film was developed. The nanostructured PPy film was composed of template-synthesized nanoporous PPy covered with a thin protective PPy layer. The proposed controlled release system can load drug molecules in the polymer backbones and inside the nanoholes respectively. Electrical stimulation can release drugs from both the polymer backbones and the nanoholes, which significantly improves the drug load and release efficiency. Furthermore, with one drug incorporated in the polymer backbone during electrochemical polymerization, the nanoholes inside the polymer can act as containers to store a different drug, and simultaneous electrically triggered release of different drugs can be realized with this system.
Electrically controlled drug release; Conducting polymers; Polypyrrole; Fluorescein; Dexamethasone
Polypyrrole (PPy) is a biocompatible, electrically conductive polymer that has great potential for battery, sensor, and neural implant applications. Its amorphous structure and insolubility, however, limit the experimental techniques available to study its structure and properties at the atomic level. Previous theoretical studies of PPy in bulk are also scarce. Using ab initio calculations, we have constructed a molecular mechanics force field of chloride-doped PPy (PPyCl) and undoped PPy. This model has been designed to integrate into the OPLS force field, and parameters are available for the Gromacs and TINKER software packages. Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations of bulk PPy and PPyCl have been performed using this force field, and the effects of chain packing and electrostatic scaling on the bulk polymer density have been investigated. The density of flotation of PPyCl films has been measured experimentally. Amorphous X-ray diffraction of PPyCl was obtained and correlated with atomic structures sampled from MD simulations. The force field reported here is foundational for bridging the gap between experimental measurements and theoretical calculations for PPy based materials.
polypyrrole; conducting polymers; molecular mechanics; characterization; quantum mechanics; force field; parameters
Stem cell function is regulated by intrinsic as well as microenvironmental factors, including chemical and mechanical signals. Conducting polymer-based cell culture substrates provide a powerful tool to control both chemical and physical stimuli sensed by stem cells. Here we show that polypyrrole (PPy), a commonly used conducting polymer, can be tailored to modulate survival and maintenance of rat fetal neural stem cells (NSCs). NSCs cultured on PPy substrates containing different counter ions, dodecylbenzenesulfonate (DBS), tosylate (TsO), perchlorate (ClO4) and chloride (Cl), showed a distinct correlation between PPy counter ion and cell viability. Specifically, NSC viability was high on PPy(DBS) but low on PPy containing TsO, ClO4 and Cl. On PPy(DBS), NSC proliferation and differentiation was comparable to standard NSC culture on tissue culture polystyrene. Electrical reduction of PPy(DBS) created a switch for neural stem cell viability, with widespread cell death upon polymer reduction. Coating the PPy(DBS) films with a gel layer composed of a basement membrane matrix efficiently prevented loss of cell viability upon polymer reduction. Here we have defined conditions for the biocompatibility of PPy substrates with NSC culture, critical for the development of devices based on conducting polymers interfacing with NSCs.