Cardiomyocyte behavior on biodegradable polyurethane/gold nanocomposite scaffolds under electrical stimulation
Following a myocardial infarction (MI), cardiomyocytes are replaced by scar tissue, which decreases ventricular contractile function. Tissue engineering is a promising approach to regenerate such damaged cardiomyocyte tissue. Engineered cardiac patches can be fabricated by seeding a high density of cardiac cells onto a synthetic or natural porous polymer. In this study, nanocomposite scaffolds made of gold nanotubes/nanowires incorporat- ed into biodegradable castor oil-based polyurethane were employed to make micro-porous scaffolds. H9C2 cardiomyocyte cells were cultured on the scaffolds for one day, and electrical stimulation was applied to improve cell communication and interaction in neighboring pores. Cells on scaffolds were examined by ﬂuorescence microscopy and scanning electron microscopy, revealing that the combination of scaffold design and electrical stimulation signiﬁcantly increased cell conﬂuency of H9C2 cells on the scaffolds. Furthermore, we showed that the gene expression levels of Nkx2.5, atrial natriuretic peptide (ANF) and natriuretic peptide precursor B (NPPB), which are functional genes of the myocardium, were up-regulated by the incorporation of gold nanotubes/nanowires into the polyurethane scaffolds, in particular after electrical stimulation.
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