Carbon nanotubes as effective modulators of cellular reactions in various tissue regeneration strategies


Benko, Aleksandra (AGH University of Science and Technology)


Efficient regeneration of different tissue types requires solutions that are specifically tailored to meet certain criteria. This is particularly true for the group of hard-to-regenerate tissues, such as cardiac, neural or chondral, which are known to have a low self-regeneration potential. The cells of these tissues often require certain factors to induce their division, differentiation and maturation. These would include usage of scaffolds with: specific surface properties (chemical composition, presence of certain motifs), presence of some sort of bioactive compound (various types of biomolecules), electro-donor properties, electrical conductivity, surface morphology, mechanical properties [1, 2]. Positive therapeutic effect can be further boosted by introducing additional exogenous stimuli, such as electrical, magnetic, or mechanical stimulation [3, 4]. Certainly, all of the positive outcomes can be boosted when all of the above-mentioned cues are combined.
Despite controversies regarding their safe biomedical applications, carbon nanotubes (CNTs) of well- defined properties have been proven be biocompatible, creating interesting modificators for the fabrication of multifunctional scaffolds with new or improved properties. Electrical conductivity, ability to bind and controllably release bioactive compounds, or introducing the stimuli-responsiveness are just some examples of these properties.

In this study, surface functionalization of CNTs have been employed to grant them with cytocompatibility and bioactive properties. Next, the CNTs were used as matrix and surface modifiers. Chemical composition, electrical and mechanical properties of the as-obtained scaffolds were evaluated and the materials were tested for their effect on cells, antibacterial, and anticancer properties.

Results & conclusion
In the course of this study, electrically conductive and cytocompatible materials based on CNTs were fabricated. Altered electro-donor, physichochemical and electrical properties yielded surfaces of bactericidal and anti-cancer properties that at the same time were able to enhance the cellular adhesion, growth and proliferation.

This study was supported by the National Science Centre, Poland, under grants nos. UMO-2017/24/C/ST8/00400 and 2020/37/B/ST5/03451.

  1. Miklavčič, D., N. Pavšelj, and F.X. Hart, Electric Properties of Tissues, in Wiley Encyclopedia of Biomedical Engineering, M. Akay, Editor. 2006.
  2. Crowder, S.W., et al., Material Cues as Potent Regulators of Epigenetics and Stem Cell Function. Cell Stem Cell, 2016. 18(1): p. 39-52.
  3. Thrivikraman, G., S.K. Boda, and B. Basu, Unraveling the mechanistic effects of electric field stimulation towards directing stem cell fate and function: A tissue engineering perspective. Biomaterials, 2018. 150: p. 60-86.
  4. Stoppel, W.L., D.L. Kaplan, and L.D. Black, Electrical and mechanical stimulation of cardiac cells and tissue constructs. Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews, 2016. 96: p. 135-155."


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