In vitro cardiomyocyte-driven biogenerator based on aligned piezoelectric nanofibers†
Capturing the body's mechanical energy from the heart, lungs, and diaphragm can probably meet the requirements for in vivo applications of implantable biomedical devices. In this work, we present a novel contractile cardiomyocyte (CM)-driven biogenerator based on piezoelectric nanofibers (NFs) uniaxially aligned on a PDMS thin film. Flexible nanostructures interact with the CMs, as a physical cue to guide the CMs to align in a specific way, and create mechanical interfaces of contractile CMs and piezoelectric NFs. As such, the cellular construct features specific alignment and synchronous contraction, which realizes the maximal resultant force to drive the NFs to bend periodically. Studies on contraction mapping show that neonatal rat CMs self-assemble into a functional bio-bot film with well-defined axes of force generation. Consequently, the biogenerator produces an average voltage of 200 mV and current of 45 nA at the cell concentration of 1.0 million per ml, offering a biocompatible and scalable platform for biological energy conversion.