Guidance of neurite outgrowth on aligned electrospun polypyrrole/poly(styrene-β-isobutylene-β-styrene) fiber platforms
The purpose of this work was to investigate the potential biomedical application of novel aligned electrospun polypyrrole (PPy)/poly(styrene-β-isobutylene-β-styrene) (SIBS) fibers. After successfully aligning the electroactive PPy/SIBS fibers based on our modified electrospinning method, we demonstrated that neurite outgrowth from PC12 cells could be highly orientated parallel to the aligned PPy/SIBS fibers. Physical interactions between the nerve cells and PPy/SIBS fibers through filopodia “sensing” were observed using atomic force microscopy. These observations indicate a role of contact guidance as a mechanism for the observed alignment. This work highlights the capacity for electroactive PPy/SIBS fibers to support and guide nerve cell differentiation through topographic cues, which is a highly desirable characteristic in medical implants for neurological applications.