Design of high conductive and piezoelectric poly (3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene)/chitosan nanofibers for enhancing cellular electrical stimulation.

Research paper by Lijuan L Du, Tong T Li, Fei F Jin, Yi Y Wang, Rui R Li, Jie J Zheng, Ting T Wang, Zhang-Qi ZQ Feng

Indexed on: 27 Feb '21Published on: 15 Oct '19Published in: Journal of Colloid and Interface Science


Electroactive nanofibrous scaffold is a vital tool for the study of the various biological research fields from bioelectronics to regenerative medicine, which can provide cell preferable 3D nanofiber architecture and programmed electrical signal. However, intrinsic non-biodegradability is a major problem that hinders its widespread application in the clinic. Herein, we designed, synthesized, and characterized shell/core poly (3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) (PEDOT)/chitosan (CS) nanofibers by combining the electrospinning and recrystallization processes. Upon incorporating a trace amount of PEDOT (1.0 wt%), the resultant PEDOT/CS nanofibers exhibited low interfacial charge transfer impedance, high electrochemical stability, high electrical conductivity (up to 0.1945 S/cm), and ultrasensitive piezoelectric property (output voltage of 22.5 mV by a human hair prodding). With such unique electrical and conductive properties, PEDOT/CS nanofibers were further applied to brain neuroglioma cells (BNCs) to stimulate their adhesion, proliferation, growth, and development under an optimal external electrical stimulation (ES) and a pulse voltage of 400 mV/cm. ES-responsive PEDOT/CS nanofibers indeed promoted BNCs growth and development as indicated by a large number and density of axons. The synergetic interplay between external ES and piezoelectric voltage demonstrates new PEDOT-based nanofibers as implantable electroactive scaffolds for numerous applications in nerve tissue engineering, human health monitoring, brain mantle information extraction, and degradable microelectronic devices. Copyright © 2019. Published by Elsevier Inc.