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G. M. Fortunato, C. De Maria, D. Eglin, T. Serra, G. Vozzi: "An ink-jet printed electrical stimulation platform for muscle tissue regeneration", Bioprinting, vol. 11, e00035, Oct. 2018

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Conducting polymeric materials have been used to modulate response of cells seeded on their surfaces. However, there is still major improvement to be made related to their biocompatibility, conductivity, stability in biological milieu, and processability toward truly tissue engineered functional device. In this work, conductive polymer, poly(3,4-ethylene-dioxythiophene):polystyrene-sulfonate (PEDOT:PSS), and its possible applications in tissue engineering were explored. In particular PEDOT:PSS solution was inkjet printed onto a gelatin substrate for obtaining a conductive structure. Mechanical and electrical characterizations, structural stability by swelling and degradation tests were carried out on different PEDOT-based samples obtained by varying the number of printed PEDOT layers from 5 to 50 on gelatin substrate. Biocompatibility of substrates was investigated on C2C12 myoblasts, through metabolic activity assay and imaging analysis during a 7-days culture period, to assess cell morphology, differentiation and alignment. The results of this first part allowed to proceed with the second part of the study in which these substrates were used for the design of an electrical stimulation device, with the aim of providing the external stimulus (3V amplitude square wave at 1 and 2 Hz frequency) to guide myotubes alignment and enhance differentiation, having in this way promising applications in the field of muscle tissue engineering.


Keywords: PEDOT; inkjet printing; muscle cells; electrical stimulation device; cell alignment, cell differentiation