Colloids and surfaces. B, Biointerfaces

Biocompatible electrically conductive nanofibers from inorganic-organic shape memory polymers.

PMID 27690245


A porous shape memory scaffold with both biomimetic structures and electrical conductivity properties is highly promising for nerve tissue engineering applications. In this study, a new shape memory polyurethane polymer which consists of inorganic polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) segments with organic poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) segments was synthesized. Based on this poly(PCL/PDMS urethane), a series of electrically conductive nanofibers were electrospun by incorporating different amounts of carbon-black. Our results showed that after adding carbon black into nanofibers, the fiber diameters increased from 399±76 to 619±138nm, the crystallinity decreased from 33 to 25% and the resistivity reduced from 3.6 GΩ/mm to 1.8 kΩ/mm. Carbon black did not significantly influence the shape memory properties of the resulting nanofibers, and all the composite nanofibers exhibited decent shape recovery ratios of >90% and shape fixity ratios of >82% even after 5 thermo-mechanical cycles. PC12 cells were cultured on the shape memory nanofibers and the composite scaffolds showed good biocompatibility by promoting cell-cell interactions. Our study demonstrated that the poly(PCL/PDMS urethane)/carbon-black nanofibers with shape memory properties could be potentially used as smart 4-dimensional (4D) scaffolds for nerve tissue regeneration.