Polymer-Based, Conductive Tissue Scaffolds that Use Electricity to Direct Cell Alignment

Technology #15654

Cell Alignment Can Be Guided Without Topographical Cues from Tissues, Simplifying the Process of Tissue Engineering

This polymer-based, conformal conductive tissue scaffold instructs cells to align without the need for topographical cues from tissues. Cell alignment is characteristic of some human cell types, including bone, cardiac, and nerve cells. With available tissue engineering methods, tissue engineers use the topographical cues that occur naturally in our cells to instruct cell alignment, which limits the creation of new tissues. The tissue engineering market in the United States is expected to be valued at $23.9 billion by 2019. University of Florida researchers have uncovered a way to instruct cell alignment with electricity, simplifying the creation of artificial tissues and increasing the level of personalization that can be reached during the process of engineering cells.

Application

Tissue engineering scaffolds that use electricity to align cells

Advantages

  • Utilizes electrical cues to direct cell alignment, simplifying the process of tissue creation
  • Utilizes dip coating to create multilayer films, making manufacture of the tissue industrially scalable
  • Properties of the films can be easily tuned, enabling specific niche or patient-specific applications

Technology

These polymer-based tissue scaffolds utilize electricity to direct cell alignment rather than utilize topographical cues. This material is created through a process of dip-coating. Researchers at the University of Florida prepared multilayer films into different baths of chemicals to produce films that could culture human dermal fibroblasts or other cell types, including astrocytes, epithelial cells, etc. The researchers demonstrated that a variety of cell types adhered to the films and proliferated in vitro, aligning on the surface in response to a DC current. These films demonstrate the potential for the development of thin, conformal bioactive coatings that induce cell alignment on the surface of implantable biomaterials.