Multifunctional degradable electronic scaffolds for cardiac tissue engineering

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The capability to on-line sense tissue function, provide stimulation to control contractility and efficiently release drugs within an engineered tissue microenvironment may enhance tissue assembly and improve the therapeutic outcome of implanted engineered tissues. To endow cardiac patches with such capabilities we developed elastic, biodegradable, electronic scaffolds. The scaffolds were composed of electrospun albumin fibers that served as both a substrate and a passivation layer for evaporated gold electrodes. Cardiomyocytes seeded onto the electronic scaffolds organized into a functional cardiac tissue and their function was recorded on-line. Furthermore, the electronic scaffolds enabled to actuate the engineered tissue to control its function and trigger the release of drugs. Post implantation, these electronic scaffolds degraded, leading to the dissociation of the inorganic material from within the scaffold. Such technology can be built upon to create a variety of degradable devices for tissue engineering of various tissues, as well as pristine cell-free devices with electronic components for short-term in vivo use.

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