Skeletal muscle cell proliferation and differentiation on polypyrrole substrates doped with extracellular matrix components
Conducting polymers have been developed as substrates for in vitro studies with a range of cell types including electrically-excitable cells such as nerve and smooth muscle. The goal of this study was to optimise and characterise a range of polypyrrole materials to act as substrates for electrical stimulation of differentiating skeletal myoblasts. Although all of the polymer materials provided suitable substrates for myoblast adhesion and proliferation, significant differences became apparent under the low-serum conditions used for differentiation of primary myoblasts. The significance of the work lies in the design and control of polymer materials to facilitate different stages of skeletal muscle cell proliferation and/or differentiation, opening up opportunities for engineering of this tissue. This paper therefore constitutes not just a biocompatibility assessment but a comprehensive study of how synthesis conditions affect the final outcome in terms of cell response.