Polypyrrole-chitosan conductive biomaterial synchronizes cardiomyocyte contraction and improves myocardial electrical impulse propagation.

Research paper by Zhi Z Cui, Nathan C NC Ni, Jun J Wu, Guo-Qing GQ Du, Sheng S He, Terrence M TM Yau, Richard D RD Weisel, Hsing-Wen HW Sung, Ren-Ke RK Li

Indexed on: 19 May '18Published on: 19 May '18Published in: Theranostics


The post-myocardial infarction (MI) scar interrupts electrical impulse propagation and delays regional contraction, which contributes to ventricular dysfunction. We investigated the potential of an injectable conductive biomaterial to restore scar tissue conductivity and re-establish synchronous ventricular contraction. A conductive biomaterial was generated by conjugating conductive polypyrrole (PPY) onto chitosan (CHI) backbones. Trypan blue staining of neonatal rat cardiomyocytes (CMs) cultured on biomaterials was used to evaluate the biocompatibility of the conductive biomaterials. Ca imaging was used to visualize beating CMs. A cryoablation injury rat model was used to investigate the ability of PPY:CHI to improve cardiac electrical propagation in the injured heart . Electromyography was used to evaluate conductivity of scar tissue . Cell survival and morphology were similar between cells cultured on biomaterials-coated and uncoated-control dishes. PPY:CHI established synchronous contraction of two distinct clusters of spontaneously-beating CMs. Intramyocardial PPY:CHI injection into the cryoablation-induced injured region improved electrical impulse propagation across the scarred tissue and decreased the QRS interval, whereas saline- or CHI-injected hearts continued to have delayed propagation patterns and significantly reduced conduction velocity compared to healthy controls. evaluation found that scar tissue from PPY:CHI-treated rat hearts had higher signal amplitude compared to those from saline- or CHI-treated rat heart tissue. The PPY:CHI biomaterial is electrically conductive, biocompatible and injectable. It improved synchronous contraction between physically separated beating CM clusters . Intra-myocardial injection of PPY:CHI following cardiac injury improved electrical impulse propagation of scar tissue .