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Chapter 10

Conductive Polymers Building 3D Scaffolds for Tissue Engineering

Scaffolds that provide an environment similar to the in vivo tissue are essential in tissue engineering. Among them, conducting 3D scaffolds offer large surface areas for cellular attachment, proliferation and additionally for electrical sensing and stimulation. Conducting scaffolds, commonly composed of conjugated polymers (CPs), have shown improved regeneration ability for electrically active cells and tissues, such as muscle, nerves, bones and heart. However, scaffolds are required to also fulfill several other characteristics: porosity to allow cell penetration and nutrient flow; elastic and wettability properties similar to the tissue of interest; and a biocompatible composition to enhance cell–substrate interactions. In this review we summarize the fabrication methods and characterization techniques employed in the case of conducting 3D scaffolds for application in tissue engineering. The main obstacle is generating such structures and maintaining its tridimensionality. In this chapter, we discuss how the scientific community developed or adapt the fabrication techniques to overcome the challenges in the manipulation of conducting polymers. Finally, we present an overview of their application and potential for tissue engineering, also including their feasibility for biomineralization of bone tissue and stem cell differentiation, taking advantage of their conductivity in some cases to regenerate using electrical stimulation.

Publication details

Print publication date
20 Oct 2020
Copyright year
Print ISBN
ePub eISBN
From the book series:
Polymer Chemistry Series