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This content will become publicly available on August 11, 2024

Title: Electrical Stimulation of Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells on Conductive Substrates Promotes Neural Priming

Electrical stimulation (ES) within a conductive scaffold is potentially beneficial in encouraging the differentiation of stem cells toward a neuronal phenotype. To improve stem cell‐based regenerative therapies, it is essential to use electroconductive scaffolds with appropriate stiffnesses to regulate the amount and location of ES delivery. Herein, biodegradable electroconductive substrates with different stiffnesses are fabricated from chitosan‐grafted‐polyaniline (CS‐g‐PANI) copolymers. Human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) cultured on soft conductive scaffolds show a morphological change with significant filopodial elongation after electrically stimulated culture along with upregulation of neuronal markers and downregulation of glial markers. Compared to stiff conductive scaffolds and non‐conductive CS scaffolds, soft conductive CS‐g‐PANI scaffolds promote increased expression of microtubule‐associated protein 2 (MAP2) and neurofilament heavy chain (NF‐H) after application of ES. At the same time, there is a decrease in the expression of the glial markers glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and vimentin after ES. Furthermore, the elevation of intracellular calcium [Ca2+] during spontaneous, cell‐generated Ca2+transients further suggests that electric field stimulation of hMSCs cultured on conductive substrates can promote a neural‐like phenotype. The findings suggest that the combination of the soft conductive CS‐g‐PANI substrate and ES is a promising new tool for enhancing neuronal tissue engineering outcomes.

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Author(s) / Creator(s):
 ;  ;  
Publisher / Repository:
Wiley Blackwell (John Wiley & Sons)
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Macromolecular Bioscience
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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