Electrophoresis, Vol.29, No.15, 3123-3127, 2008
Controlling the mechanics and nanotopography of biocompatible scaffolds through dielectrophoresis with carbon nanotubes
Creating a biocompatible carbon-nanotube polymer scaffold is an area that has a number of potential applications. Herein, a dielectrophoretic approach was pursued to integrate carbon nanotubes into a polymeric material for fabricating a nanoscale composite scaffold with increased and controllable mechanical strength. The adhesion force, which combines the surface energy of the sample and the interfacial energy between the tip and sample, was estimated to be 55.39 +/- 6.72 nN away from the center of the protrusions at a distance of 0.5 mu m while being 24.01 +/- 4.45 nN at the center. The adhesion force for the center of the cavities was 42.47 +/- 6.91 and 88.21 +/-15.05 nN at 0.5 mu m away from the center. NIH 3T3 fibroblast cells were then utilized to test the cellular biocompatibility of this multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) film. Cells were cultured on the surface and then their attachment, spreading, and proliferation behaviors were observed. This nanotube-polymer scaffolding approach has a wide range of potential applications including in complex device fabrication as well as in developing biomimetic and tissue engineering scaffolds, and artificial organs.