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Amine-functionalized polypyrrole: Inherently cell adhesive conducting polymer.

Journal of biomedical materials research. Part A (2014-10-09)
Jae Y Lee, Christine E Schmidt
ABSTRACT

Electrically conducting polymers (CPs) have been recognized as novel biomaterials that can electrically communicate with biological systems. For their tissue engineering applications, CPs have been modified to promote cell adhesion for improved interactions between biomaterials and cells/tissues. Conventional approaches to improve cell adhesion involve the surface modification of CPs with biomolecules, such as physical adsorption of cell adhesive proteins and polycationic polymers, or their chemical immobilization; however, these approaches require additional multiple modification steps with expensive biomolecules. In this study, as a simple and effective alternative to such additional biomolecule treatment, we synthesized amine-functionalized polypyrrole (APPy) that inherently presents cell adhesion-supporting positive charges under physiological conditions. The synthesized APPy provides electrical activity in a moderate range and a hydrophilic surface compared to regular polypyrrole (PPy) homopolymers. Under both serum and serum-free conditions, APPy exhibited superior attachment of human dermal fibroblasts and Schwann cells compared to PPy homopolymer controls. Moreover, Schwann cell adhesion onto the APPy copolymer was at least similar to that on poly-l-lysine treated PPy controls. Our results indicate that amine-functionalized CP substrates will be useful to achieve good cell adhesion and potentially electrically stimulate various cells. In addition, amine functionality present on CPs can further serve as a novel and flexible platform to chemically tether various bioactive molecules, such as growth factors, antibodies, and chemical drugs.

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