Fabrication of biocompatible nanohybrid shish-kebab-structured carbon nanotubes with a mussel-inspired layer
In this study, a carbon nanotubes (CNTs)/polyethylene (PE) nanohybrid shish-kebab (NHSK) structure was fabricated and subsequently coated with a polydopamine (PDA) layer. This work aims to introduce the nano-sized topography and the high biocompatibility of PDA into CNTs to enhance cell affinity. The NHSK architecture was fabricated with CNTs and PE via a solution crystallization technique. The nanotopology of the shish-kebab structure can be tailored by adjusting the PE concentration and crystallization time. Moreover, dopamine self-polymerization was subsequently utilized to coat a thin and immobilized layer of bioactive PDA around the NHSK, which showed enhanced hydrophilicity compared with uncoated NHSK scaffolds. Cell assays with fibroblasts demonstrated that the nanotopography of the kebab crystals and their dimensions enhanced cell attachment and spreading while the PDA functionalization on the NHSK scaffolds further facilitated cell adhesion and viability, indicating that this study has potential applications in tissue engineering.