3D-Printed Electroactive Hydrogel Architectures with Sub-100 µm Resolution Promote Myoblast Viability

Rebecca L. Keate, Joshua Tropp, Caralyn P. Collins, Henry Oliver T. Ware, Anthony J. Petty, Guillermo A. Ameer, Cheng Sun*, Jonathan Rivnay*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


3D-printed hydrogel scaffolds functionalized with conductive polymers have demonstrated significant potential in regenerative applications for their structural tunability, physiochemical compatibility, and electroactivity. Controllably generating conductive hydrogels with fine features, however, has proven challenging. Here, micro-continuous liquid interface production (μCLIP) method is utilized to 3D print poly(2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate) (pHEMA) hydrogels. With a unique in-situ polymerization approach, a sulfonated monomer is first incorporated into the hydrogel matrix and subsequently polymerized into a conjugated polyelectrolyte, poly(4-(2,3-dihydro-thieno[3,4-b][1,4]dioxin-2-ylmethoxy)-butane-1 sulfonic acid sodium salt (PEDOT-S). Rod structures are fabricated at different crosslinking levels to investigate PEDOT-S incorporation and its effect on bulk hydrogel electronic and mechanical properties. After demonstrating that PEDOT-S does not significantly compromise the structures of the bulk material, pHEMA scaffolds are fabricated via μCLIP with features smaller than 100 µm. Scaffold characterization confirms PEDOT-S incorporation bolstered conductivity while lowering overall modulus. Finally, C2C12 myoblasts are seeded on PEDOT-pHEMA structures to verify cytocompatibility and the potential of this material in future regenerative applications. PEDOT-pHEMA scaffolds promote increased cell viability relative to their non-conductive counterparts and differentially influence cell organization. Taken together, this study presents a promising new approach for fabricating complex conductive hydrogel structures for regenerative applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2200103
JournalMacromolecular Bioscience
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2022


  • 3D-printing
  • conductive hydrogels
  • conductive polymers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Biotechnology
  • Biomaterials


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