Polyaniline-Polycaprolactone Fibers for Neural Applications: Electroconductivity Enhanced by Pseudo-Doping

Garrudo, F.F.F.
Mikael, P.E.
Rodrigues, C.A.V.
Udangawa, R.W.
Paradiso, P.
Chapman, C.A.
Hoffman, P.
Colaço, R.
Cabral, J.M.S.
Morgado, J.
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Biology , Chemistry and chemical biology , Chemical and biological engineering , Biomedical engineering
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Polyaniline-Polycaprolactone Fibers for Neural Applications: Electroconductivity Enhanced by Pseudo-Doping, F. F. F. Garrudo, P. E. Mikael, C. A. V. Rodrigues, R. W. Udangawa, P. Paradiso, C. A. Chapman, P. Hoffman, R. Colaço, J. M. S. Cabral, J. Morgado, R. J. Linhardt, F. C. Ferreir, Materials Science & Engineering C, 120, 111680, 2021.
Replenishing neurons in patients with neurodegenerative diseases is one of the ultimate therapies for these progressive, debilitating and fatal diseases. Electrical stimulation can improve neuron stem cell differentiation but requires a reliable nanopatterned electroconductive substrate. Potential candidate substrates are polycaprolactone (PCL) – polyaniline:camphorsulfonic acid (PANI:CSA) nanofibers, but their nanobiophysical properties need to be finetuned. The present study investigates the use of the pseudo-doping effect on the optimization of the electroconductivity of these polyaniline-based electrospun nanofibers. This was performed by developing a new solvent system that comprises a mixture of hexafluoropropanol (HFP) and trifluoroethanol (TFE). For the first time, an electroconductivity so high as 0.2 S cm−1 was obtained for, obtained from a TFE:HFP 50/50 vol% solution, while maintaining fiber biocompatibility. The physicochemical mechanisms behind these changes were studied. The results suggest HFP promotes changes on PANI chains conformations through pseudo-doping, leading to the observed enhancement in electroconductivity. The consequences of such change in the nanofabrication of PCL-PANI fibers include an increase in fiber diameter (373 ± 172 nm), a decrease in contact angle (42 ± 3°) and a decrease in Young modulus (1.6 ± 0.5 MPa), making these fibers interesting candidates for neural tissue engineering. Electrical stimulation of differentiating neural stem cells was performed using AC electrical current. Positive effects on cell alignment and gene expression (DCX, MAP2) are observed. The novel optimized platform shows promising applications for (1) building in vitro platforms for drug screening, (2) interfaces for deep-brain electrodes; and (3) fully grown and functional neurons transplantation.
Materials Science & Engineering C, 120, 111680
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The Linhardt Research Labs.
The Shirley Ann Jackson, Ph.D. Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies (CBIS)
The Linhardt Research Labs Online Collection
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY
Materials Science and Engineering C