Acta biomaterialia

Impact of co-incorporating laminin peptide dopants and neurotrophic growth factors on conducting polymer properties.

PMID 19563922


Conductive neural interfaces tailored for cell interaction by incorporation of bioactive factors are hypothesized to produce superior neuroprostheses with improved charge transfer capabilities. This study examined the effect of entrapping nerve growth factor (NGF) within the conducting polymer poly(ethylene dioxythiophene) (PEDOT) during electrodeposition to create a polymer capable of stimulating neurite outgrowth from proximal neural tissue. NGF entrapment was performed on polymers doped with laminin peptides DEDEDYFQRYLI and DCDPGYIGSR and, additionally, a conventional dopant, paratoluene sulphonate (pTS). All polymer coatings were analysed for a range of physical, electrical and mechanical properties, with the biological activity of ligands examined using a PC12 neurite outgrowth assay. NGF was successfully entrapped in PEDOT during electrodeposition and was shown to produce a softer interface than conventional conducting polymers and films without the NGF modification. However, it was found that the use of a peptide dopant combined with NGF entrapment resulted in polymers with diminished electrical and mechanical stability. Entrapped NGF was determined to be biologically active, with PEDOT/pTS/NGF producing neurite outgrowth comparable with control films where NGF was supplied via the medium. Future studies will determine the effect of typical neural prosthetic stimulation regimes on the release of neurotrophins and subsequent cell response.