Iranian researchers used graphene to synthesize a scaffold to treat damaged muscles TEHRAN (INIC)- Iranian researchers from Stem Cell Technology Research Center, Tarbiat Modarres University and Sharif University of Technology produced polymeric nanofibers and used graphene to synthesize a scaffold with optimized properties.
The laboratorial scaffold can be used in the treatment of damaged muscle tissues.
In the past few decades, polymeric nanofibrous membranes and carbon-based nanostructured materials have been introduced in tissue engineering as scaffolds. Graphene and graphene oxide sheets have also attracted the attention of researchers due to their high physicochemical properties and biocompatibility in various aspects such as biosensors and smart drug delivery.
This research provides an appropriate environment for in-vitro culture of muscle cells by using conductive polymers and graphene and graphene oxide nanosheets. These scaffolds are produced in a cheaper manner than the similar samples. In addition, they create fewer side effects for in-vitro cell culture due to the application of fewer additives.
Taking into consideration the fact that muscles are located in a conductive environment inside the body and the conductivity of polyaniline, a nanofiber made of the abovementioned polymer has been used as the scaffold. Graphene and graphene oxide nanosheets have been used to increase conductivity and improve mechanical properties and biocompatibility of polyaniline. The application of nanoparticles results in acquirement of desirable conductivity, mechanical properties and biocompatibility by using much smaller amount of materials.
Observations have shown that the addition of graphene nanosheets to scaffolds increases electrical conductivity of the scaffolds and it results in cell differentiation. In addition, graphene and graphene oxide nanosheets have different behavior in this phenomenon.
Results of the research have been published in Biomedical Materials, vol. 11, issue 2, 2016, pp. 025006.