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PLoS One. 2016 Mar 15;11(3):e0151589. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0151589. eCollection 2016.

Graphene Functionalized Scaffolds Reduce the Inflammatory Response and Supports Endogenous Neuroblast Migration when Implanted in the Adult Brain.

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Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Monash Institute of Medical Engineering, Monash University, Melbourne, VIC, Australia.
Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute, Monash University, Melbourne, VIC, Australia.
The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC, Australia.
The Ritchie Centre, Hudson Institute of Medical Research, Monash University, Melbourne, VIC, Australia.
Department of Physiology, Monash University, Melbourne, VIC, Australia.


Electroactive materials have been investigated as next-generation neuronal tissue engineering scaffolds to enhance neuronal regeneration and functional recovery after brain injury. Graphene, an emerging neuronal scaffold material with charge transfer properties, has shown promising results for neuronal cell survival and differentiation in vitro. In this in vivo work, electrospun microfiber scaffolds coated with self-assembled colloidal graphene, were implanted into the striatum or into the subventricular zone of adult rats. Microglia and astrocyte activation levels were suppressed with graphene functionalization. In addition, self-assembled graphene implants prevented glial scarring in the brain 7 weeks following implantation. Astrocyte guidance within the scaffold and redirection of neuroblasts from the subventricular zone along the implants was also demonstrated. These findings provide new functional evidence for the potential use of graphene scaffolds as a therapeutic platform to support central nervous system regeneration.

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