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Reversibly Assembled Electroconductive Hydrogel via a Host–Guest Interaction for 3D Cell Culture
- Xu, Yong, Cui, Meiying, Patsis, Panagiotis A., Günther, Markus, Yang, Xuegeng, Eckert, Kerstin, Zhang, Yixin
- ACS applied materials & interfaces 2019 v.11 no.8 pp. 7715-7724
- alginates, cell culture, electrical properties, electron microscopy, encapsulation, hydrogels, myoblasts, nanoparticles, polymerization, polymers, tissue engineering
- The study of cells responding to an electroconductive environment is impeded by the lack of a method, which would allow the encapsulation of cells in an extracellular matrix-like 3D electroactive matrix, and more challengingly, permit a simple mechanism to release cells for further characterization. Herein, we report a polysaccharide-based conductive hydrogel system formed via a β-cyclodextrin-adamantane host–guest interaction. Oxidative polymerization of 3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene (EDOT) in the presence of adamantyl-modified sulfated alginate (S-Alg-Ad) results in bio-electroconductive polymer PEDOT:S-Alg-Ad, which can form hydrogel with poly-β-cyclodextrin (Pβ-CD). The PEDOT:S-Alg-Ad/Pβ-CD hydrogels can be tuned on aspects of mechanical and electrical properties, exhibit self-healing feature, and are injectable. Electron microscopy suggested that the difference in stiffness and conductivity is associated with the nacre-like layered nanostructures when different sizes of PEDOT:S-Alg-Ad nanoparticles were used. Myoblast C2C12 cells were encapsulated in the conductive hydrogel and exhibited proliferation rate comparable to that in nonconductive S-Alg-Ad/Pβ-CD hydrogel. The cells could be released from the hydrogels by adding the β-CD monomer. Astonishingly, the conductive hydrogel can dramatically promote myotube-like structure formation, which is not in the non-electroconductive hydrogel. The ability to embed and release cells in an electroconductive environment will open new doors for cell culture and tissue engineering.