As is known, carbon nanotubes favor cell growth in vitro, although the underlying mechanisms are not yet fully elucidated. In this study, we explore the hypothesis that electrostatic fields generated at the interface between nonexcitable cells and appropriate scaffold might favor cell growth by tuning their membrane potential. We focused on primary human fibroblasts grown on electrospun polymer fibers (poly(lactic acid)-PLA) with embedded multiwall carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs). The MWCNTs were functionalized with either the p-methoxyphenyl (PhOME) or the p-acetylphenyl (PhCOMe) moiety, both of which allowed uniform dispersion in a solvent, good mixing with PLA and the consequent smooth and homogeneous electrospinning process. The inclusion of the electrically conductive MWCNTs in the insulating PLA matrix resulted in differences in the surface potential of the fibers. Both PLA and PLA/MWCNT fiber samples were found to be biocompatible. The main features of fibroblasts cultured on different substrates were characterized by scanning electron microscopy, immunocytochemistry, Rt-qPCR, and electrophysiology revealing that fibroblasts grown on PLA/MWCNT reached a healthier state as compared to pure PLA. In particular, we observed physiological spreading, attachment, and V-mem of fibroblasts on PLA/MWCNT. Interestingly, the electrical functionalization of the scaffold resulted in a more suitable extracellular environment for the correct biofunctionality of these nonexcitable cells. Finally, numerical simulations were also performed in order to understand the mechanism behind the different cell behavior when grown either on PLA or PLA/MWCNT samples. The results show a clear effect on the cell membrane potential, depending on the underlying substrate.

Modified Carbon Nanotubes Favor Fibroblast Growth by Tuning the Cell Membrane Potential

Suarato, Giulia;Ruben, Massimo;Sandri, Giuseppina;Salerno, Marco;Alabastri, Alessandro;Proietti Zaccaria, Remo;
2024-01-01

Abstract

As is known, carbon nanotubes favor cell growth in vitro, although the underlying mechanisms are not yet fully elucidated. In this study, we explore the hypothesis that electrostatic fields generated at the interface between nonexcitable cells and appropriate scaffold might favor cell growth by tuning their membrane potential. We focused on primary human fibroblasts grown on electrospun polymer fibers (poly(lactic acid)-PLA) with embedded multiwall carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs). The MWCNTs were functionalized with either the p-methoxyphenyl (PhOME) or the p-acetylphenyl (PhCOMe) moiety, both of which allowed uniform dispersion in a solvent, good mixing with PLA and the consequent smooth and homogeneous electrospinning process. The inclusion of the electrically conductive MWCNTs in the insulating PLA matrix resulted in differences in the surface potential of the fibers. Both PLA and PLA/MWCNT fiber samples were found to be biocompatible. The main features of fibroblasts cultured on different substrates were characterized by scanning electron microscopy, immunocytochemistry, Rt-qPCR, and electrophysiology revealing that fibroblasts grown on PLA/MWCNT reached a healthier state as compared to pure PLA. In particular, we observed physiological spreading, attachment, and V-mem of fibroblasts on PLA/MWCNT. Interestingly, the electrical functionalization of the scaffold resulted in a more suitable extracellular environment for the correct biofunctionality of these nonexcitable cells. Finally, numerical simulations were also performed in order to understand the mechanism behind the different cell behavior when grown either on PLA or PLA/MWCNT samples. The results show a clear effect on the cell membrane potential, depending on the underlying substrate.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11567/1177856
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