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ACS applied materials & interfaces

Liquid Crystal Elastomer Microspheres as Three-Dimensional Cell Scaffolds Supporting the Attachment and Proliferation of Myoblasts.


PMID 26075811

Abstract

We report that liquid crystal elastomers (LCEs), often portrayed as artificial muscles, serve as scaffolds for skeletal muscle cell. A simultaneous microemulsion photopolymerization and cross-linking results in nematic LCE microspheres 10-30 μm in diameter that when conjoined form a LCE construct that serves as the first proof-of-concept for responsive LCE muscle cell scaffolds. Confocal microscopy experiments clearly established that LCEs with a globular, porous morphology permit both attachment and proliferation of C2C12 myoblasts, while the nonporous elastomer morphology, prepared in the absence of a microemulsion, does not. In addition, cytotoxicity and proliferation assays confirm that the liquid crystal elastomer materials are biocompatible promoting cellular proliferation without any inherent cytotoxicity.