Send to

Choose Destination
Adv Healthc Mater. 2015 Jun 24;4(9):1408-16. doi: 10.1002/adhm.201500056. Epub 2015 May 5.

Directed Neural Stem Cell Differentiation with a Functionalized Graphene Oxide Nanocomposite.

Weaver CL1,2,3, Cui XT1,2,3.

Author information

Department of Bioengineering, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, 15260, USA.
Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, 15260, USA.
McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, 15260, USA.


Neural stem cell (NSC) transplantation has the potential to restore function to diseased or damaged nervous tissue, but poor control over cell survival, differentiation, and maturation limits therapeutic prospects. Engineered scaffolds that have the ability to drive neural stem cell behavior can address these limitations facing cell transplantation. Conducting polymers, which have the ability to electrically interface with cells, are attractive scaffolding candidates, but they lack the capacity for simple covalent modification, which would enable surface patterning of biomolecules. In this work, the NSC scaffolding performance of a nanocomposite composed of conducting polymer poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) (PEDOT) and graphene oxide (GO) nanosheets (GO/PEDOT) is investigated. The GO/PEDOT material is nontoxic and improves NSC differentiation toward the neuronal lineage. Biomolecules interferon-γ (IFNγ) and platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) that selectively promote neuronal or oligodendrocyte lineage differentiation, respectively, are covalently cross-linked to the surface of the GO/PEDOT nanocomposite via carboxylic acid functional groups provided by GO using carbodiimide chemistry. The surfaces support a larger population of neurons when modified with IFNγ and a larger population of oligodendrocytes when modified by PDGF. This work demonstrates the customizability of GO/PEDOT for cell scaffolding applications and underlines its potential for controlling NSC behavior to improve therapeutic potential.


conducting polymer; graphene oxide; neural biomaterial; neural stem cell; surface functionalization

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center