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Journal of Long-Term Effects of Medical Implants
SJR: 0.332 SNIP: 0.491 CiteScore™: 0.89

ISSN Print: 1050-6934
ISSN Online: 1940-4379

Journal of Long-Term Effects of Medical Implants

DOI: 10.1615/JLongTermEffMedImplants.2013006208
pages 229-236

Carbon Nanobrush-Containing Poloxamer Hydrogel Composites for Tissue Regeneration

William H. Marks
School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA 02138
Sze C. Yang
Department of Chemistry, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI, USA 02881
George W. Dombi
Department of Chemistry, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI, USA 02881
Sujata K. Bhatia
School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138

ABSTRACT

The objective of this study was to examine potential uses for electrically conductive hydrogel composites in tissue engineering and tissue regeneration, and to explore the composites as a growth matrix for clinically relevant cell lines. The composite was comprised of carbon nanobrushes embedded in a biocompatible poloxamer gel. In this study, we assessed the ability of such composite gels to support the growth of fibroblasts and myocytes and eventually serve as a matrix to stimulate wound closure. In such a model, fibroblasts and myocytes are seeded on the hydrogel and bathed in culture medium. The experimental model assesses the ability of fibroblasts and myocytes to grow into and adhere to the gel. The results of this study demonstrate that carbon nanobrushes can be dispersed within poloxamer gels and that fibroblasts and myocytes can proliferate within homogenously dispersed carbon nanobrush-containing poloxamer gels. We also examined the effects of carbon nanobrush content on the rheological properties of the poloxamer gel matrix; improvement occurred in several areas in the presence of carbon nanobrushes. Our future studies will investigate the effects of design parameters such as carbon nanobrush content and matrix structure on wound healing, as well as the growth of tendons and other cell lines within the hydrogel composites. In general, this work has relevance for tissue and cellular engineering and tissue regeneration in clinical medicine.