High-aspect-ratio water-dispersed gold nanowires incorporated within gelatin methacrylate hydrogel for constructing cardiac tissues in vitro
The field of cardiac tissue engineering has made significant strides for therapeutic and pharmaceutical applications, highlighted by the development of smart biomaterials. Scaffolds with appropriate properties mimicking the nature of heart matrix will be highly beneficial for cardiac tissue engineering. Here, high-aspect-ratio water-dispersed gold nanowires (AuNWs) were synthesized and incorporated into gelatin methacrylate (GelMA) hydrogels, demonstrating enhanced electrical conductivity and mechanical properties of the biomaterial scaffolds. Cardiac cells cultured on GelMA-AuNWs hybrid hydrogels exhibited better biological activities such as cell viability and maturation state compared to those cultured on GelMA hydrogels. Moreover, cardiomyocytes showed synchronous beating activity and faster spontaneous beating rate on GelMA-AuNWs hybrid hydrogels. Our strategy of integrating high-aspect-ratio water-dispersed gold nanowires within gelatin methacrylate hydrogel provides a favorable biomaterial scaffold to construct functional cardiac tissue for further applications in cardiac tissue engineering and drug screening.