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    Volume 8, Issue 1 (June 2019)

    Fabrication and Characterization of Gelatin/Carbon Black–Based Scaffolds for Neural Tissue Engineering Applications

    (Received 15 October 2018; accepted 25 April 2019)

    Published Online: 19 June 2019

    CODEN: MPCACD

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    Abstract

    Neural tissue engineering has recently emerged as an alternative strategy to repair nerve damage and promote nerve regeneration. It involves the fabrication of scaffolds with properties mimicking those of the natural extracellular matrix for guiding a three-dimensional (3D) neural regeneration. These engineered constructs, in addition to mechanical support, should be also capable of providing proper chemical and electrical stimuli for adhesion, migration, and proliferation of the neural cells. In this study, we developed conductive composite hydrogel films based on gelatin and carbon black (CB) as scaffolds for neural tissue engineering applications. The presented hydrogel constructs were fabricated in the form of films using the solvent casting method after dispersing several concentrations of CB in a 5 % (w/v) gelatin solution along with (3-glycidoxypropyl)trimethoxysilane (GPTMS) as the crosslinking agent at a concentration of 1.84 % (v/v). The CB concentrations of 0.3 %, 0.5 %, 0.7 %, and 0.9 % (w/w) with respect to the gelatin amount were chosen. The morphological, compositional, swelling, dissolution, electrical, mechanical, and wettability properties together were characterized as function of CB content and compared with those of pure gelatin-based hydrogel. Results demonstrated that the incorporation of different quantities of CB relatively reduced the water uptake capability of the films and increased the stability in water of the gelatin matrix. Findings from the mechanical tests revealed that composite hydrogels have a lower elastic modulus with respect to the pure gelatin matrix. Moreover, it was found that the incorporation of incremental CB concentrations kept the wettability surface property unchanged while the electrical characterization of the proposed structures showed a reduction of the electrical impedance. Overall, the study suggests that the composite structures could be used as a potential candidate for fabrication of scaffolds for neural regeneration with tunable electrical and mechanical properties by varying the CB concentration in a finite range.

    Author Information:

    Gunasekaran, Harish
    Research Center E. Piaggio, University of Pisa, Pisa,

    De Acutis, Aurora
    Research Center E. Piaggio, University of Pisa, Pisa,

    Department of Information Engineering, University of Pisa, Pisa,

    Montemurro, Francesca
    Research Center E. Piaggio, University of Pisa, Pisa,

    Department of Information Engineering, University of Pisa, Pisa,

    De Maria, Carmelo
    Research Center E. Piaggio, University of Pisa, Pisa,

    Department of Information Engineering, University of Pisa, Pisa,

    Vozzi, Giovanni
    Research Center E. Piaggio, University of PisaDepartment of Information Engineering, University of Pisa, PisaPisa,


    Stock #: MPC20180165

    ISSN:2379-1365

    DOI: 10.1520/MPC20180165

    Author
    Title Fabrication and Characterization of Gelatin/Carbon Black–Based Scaffolds for Neural Tissue Engineering Applications
    Symposium ,
    Committee F04