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

ACS applied materials & interfaces (2015-06-16)
Tanmay Bera, Ernest J Freeman, Jennifer A McDonough, Robert J Clements, Asaad Aladlaan, Donald W Miller, Christopher Malcuit, Torsten Hegmann, Elda Hegmann
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.

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