Graphene is a pure carbon material that has been shown to support cell differentiation and signaling of electrogenic cell types such as neural, glial, and skeletal muscle cells. To characterize the in vivo behavior of graphene-based materials in a neurotized setting was studied. 3D-printed graphene (3DG), 3D-printed graphene-skeletal muscle ECM (3DG-mECM) blend, and 3DG infused with mECM hydrogel (3DG-mgel) were implanted in rats with and without femoral nerve coaptation. Vascularization was observed between the struts of all constructs. Myogenesis (Pax7+) was observed within the struts of 3DG-mECM constructs. Increased graphene dispersion was observed in the neurotized group compared to internal controls. 3DG material bioactivity may be tuned to incorporate myogenic and neurogenic properties.
- Appreciate the potential of 3D material inks to have inherent bioactivity
- Describe the importance of neurotization in tissue engineering