Enhanced wireless cell stimulation using soft and improved bipolar electroactive conducting polymer templates

Publication Name

Applied Materials Today


Bipolar electrostimulation (BPES) invoked using organic conducting polymers (CPs) has provided a unique route to communicating with living cells. This work brings new dimensions to BPES in terms of the conducting polymer composition and the ability to implement on a soft substrate. Poly(2-methoxyaniline-5-sulfonic acid) (PMAS) has been used as a redox active, electronically conductive dopant to enhance the electrochemical properties of the host polypyrrole (PPy). Significantly, rat PC 12 cells cultivated on a multilayer, mechanically flexible, conducting polymer support show increased differentiation when BPES is applied. The soft template (PPy-PMAS-collagen/PEDOT-PSS) comprises poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene)-poly(styrenesulfonate) (PEDOT-PSS) that provides mechanical and structural support to a blend of highly conducting PMAS modified PPy. In vitro cultivation and BPES of PC 12 cells on the prepared soft templates showed a significant increase in cell growth and neurites extension. Furthermore, the potential application of the soft template-based BPES system to living human cells is reported. The new BPES platform encourages human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells to differentiate and form extensive neuronal phenotypes and neural networks. This represents the possibility of using the soft template based BPES system in vivo and clinical applications related to translational models of human mental disorders.

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Funding Sponsor

Australian National Fabrication Facility



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