Current ischemic heart disease therapies have limited capacity for repair of cardiac tissue after a heart attack. A major technical gap in this area of regenerative medicine is the design of structurally defined bioactive material scaffolds that can localize and support stem cell viability, differentiation, and establishment of functional connections to the host tissue. To address these needs, we aim to design and formulate 3D printed tissue scaffolds incorporating 1) conductive graphene nanosheets 2) electro-curing nanocomposites, and 3) marrow-derived stem cells towards implantable heart patches and ‘living’ electrodes. We hypothesize that electrically conductive 3D printed graphene nanosheet scaffolds can lead to enhanced cell-cell signaling, control over cell alignment, and electromechanical integration with the host tissue. In addition, novel electro-curing nanocomposite additives will be incorporated into the 3D inks for tuning specific degrees of crosslinking upon an applied voltage. Such tissue scaffolds will permit post manufacturing tuning of stiffness and elasticity to minimize implant failure due to mechanical property mismatch. Finally, surface functionalization of the 3D printed tissue scaffolds with electro-curing nanocomposites will replace sutures and staples for an injury-free, on-demand bioadhesive for anchoring these novel implants to host tissue.
|Effective start/end date||11/1/14 → 10/31/17|
- Nanyang Technological University (Agmt 10/20/2014)