The low endogenous regenerative capacity of the heart, added to the prevalence of cardiovascular diseases, triggered the advent of cardiac tissue engineering in the last decades. The myocardial niche plays a critical role in directing the function and fate of cardiomyocytes; therefore, engineering a biomimetic scaffold holds excellent promise. We produced an electroconductive cardiac patch of bacterial nanocellulose (BC) with polypyrrole nanoparticles (Ppy NPs) to mimic the natural myocardial microenvironment.
BC offers a 3D interconnected fiber structure with high flexibility, which is ideal for hosting Ppy nanoparticles. BC-Ppy composites were produced by decorating the network of BC fibers (65 ± 12 nm) with conductive Ppy nanoparticles (83 ± 8 nm). Ppy NPs effectively augment the conductivity, surface roughness, and thickness of BC composites despite reducing scaffolds’ transparency. BC-Ppy composites were flexible (up to 10 mM Ppy), maintained their intricate 3D extracellular matrix-like mesh structure in all Ppy concentrations tested, and displayed electrical conductivities in the range of native cardiac tissue. Furthermore, these materials exhibit tensile strength, surface roughness, and wettability values appropriate for their final use as cardiac patches. In vitro experiments with cardiac fibroblasts and H9c2 cells confirmed the exceptional biocompatibility of BC-Ppy composites. BC-Ppy scaffolds improved cell viability and attachment, promoting a desirable cardiomyoblast morphology. Biochemical analyses revealed that H9c2 cells showed different cardiomyocyte phenotypes and distinct levels of maturity depending on the amount of Ppy in the substrate used. Specifically, the employment of BC-Ppy composites drives partial H9c2 differentiation toward a cardiomyocyte-like phenotype. The scaffolds increase the expression of functional cardiac markers in H9c2 cells, indicative of a higher differentiation efficiency, which is not observed with plain BC. Our results highlight the remarkable potential use of BC-Ppy scaffolds as a cardiac patch in tissue regenerative therapies.
Bioactive materials for therapy and diagnosis
Conductive Bacterial Nanocellulose-Polypyrrole Patches Promote Cardiomyocyte Differentiation
Sumithra Yasaswini Srinivasan, Marina Cler, Osnat Zapata-Arteaga, Bernhard Dörling, Mariano Campoy-Quiles, Elena Martínez, Elisabeth Engel, Soledad Pérez-Amodio*, and Anna Laromaine*
ACS Appl. Bio Mater. 2023, 6, 7, 2860–2874
Publication Date: June 21, 2023