G. Lalwani, A. Gopalan, M. D’Agati, S. Patel, Y. Talukdar, B. Sitharaman
Stony Brook University, United States
pp. 263 - 266
Keywords: carbon nanotubes, scaffolds, tissue engineering, stem cells, biomaterials
Expansion of stem cells and maintenance of their self-renewal capacity in vitro requires specialized robust cell culture systems. Conventional approaches consisting of animal derived matrices and cocktail of growth factors have limitations such as consistency, scalability, and pathogenicity. To overcome the above limitations, multifunctional 3D porous scaffold, fabricated using synthetic materials that permit stem cell expansion and maintenance in vitro would be a significant advancement. We have reported a novel, cheap and easy method to fabricate macroscopic, 3D, free standing, all-carbon scaffolds (macroporous architectures) by radical initiated thermal crosslinking and annealing of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) (Lalwani et. al. Carbon, 55, 90-100, 2013). 3D multi-walled and single-walled CNTs (MWCNT and SWCNT) scaffolds show excellent cell viability, adhesion, proliferation and infiltration of ADSCs (human adipose stem cells) after 1, 3 & 5 days. After 15 days, ADSCs satisfy criteria for stem cell phenotype and show robust tri-lineage (osteogenic, adipogenic and chondrogenic) differentiation according to International Society for Cellular Therapy guidelines. These results show that 3D MWCNT and SWCNT scaffolds are suitable substrates for stem cell expansion and maintenance. Furthermore, due to multifunctional properties of CNTs, one can envision the development these scaffolds for the next-generation of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine applications.