Electroactive graphene composite scaffolds for cardiac tissue engineering

Pamela Hitscherich, Ashish Aphale, Richard Gordan, Ricardo Whitaker, Prabhakar Singh, Lai hua Xie, Prabir Patra, Eun Jung Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


Contractile behavior of cardiomyocytes relies on directed signal propagation through the electroconductive networks that exist within the native myocardium. Due to their unique electrical properties, electroactive materials, such as graphene, have recently emerged as promising candidate materials for cardiac tissue engineering applications. In this work, the potential of three-dimensional (3D) nanofibrous graphene and poly(caprolactone) (PCL + G) composite scaffold for cardiac tissue engineering has been explored for the first time. The addition of graphene into PCL led to an increased volume conductivity of scaffolds with an even distribution of graphene particles throughout the matrix. Graphene particles provided local conductive sites within the PCL matrix, which enabled application of external electrical stimulation throughout the scaffold using a custom point stimulation device. When mouse embryonic stem cell derived cardiomyocytes (mES-CM) were seeded on PCL + G scaffolds, cells adhered well, contracted spontaneously, and exhibited classical cardiomyocyte phenotype confirming the biocompatibility of electroactive PCL + G scaffolds. Further functional characterization demonstrated that graphene especially affected Ca2+ handling properties of mES-CM compared to that of cardiomyocytes cultured in 2D culture, highlighting the potential of PCL + G for in vitro cardiac tissue engineering.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2923-2933
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Biomedical Materials Research - Part A
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Metals and Alloys


  • calcium handling
  • cardiomyocytes
  • conductive
  • embryonic stem cells
  • graphene
  • scaffolds


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