Conductive silk–polypyrrole composite scaffolds with bioinspired nanotopographic cues for cardiac tissue engineering†
We report on the development of bioinspired cardiac scaffolds made from electroconductive acid-modified silk fibroin–poly(pyrrole) (AMSF + PPy) substrates patterned with nanoscale ridges and grooves reminiscent of native myocardial extracellular matrix (ECM) topography to enhance the structural and functional properties of cultured human pluripotent stem cells (hPSC)-derived cardiomyocytes. Nanopattern fidelity was maintained throughout the fabrication and functionalization processes, and no loss in conductive behavior occurred due to the presence of the nanotopographical features. AMSF + PPy substrates were biocompatible and stable, maintaining high cell viability over a 21 day culture period while displaying no signs of PPy delamination. The presence of anisotropic topographical cues led to increased cellular organization and sarcomere development, and electroconductive cues promoted a significant improvement in the expression and polarization of connexin 43 (Cx43), a critical regulator of cell–cell electrical coupling. The combination of biomimetic topography and electroconductivity also increased the expression of genes that encode key proteins involved in regulating the contractile and electrophysiological function of mature human cardiac tissue.
- This article is part of the themed collections: Editor’s Choice: Scaffold Engineering and Journal of Materials Chemistry B Emerging Investigators