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AIM - To evaluate the efficacy of electrically conductive, biocompatible composite scaffolds in modulating the cardiomyogenic differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs).
MATERIALS & METHODS - Electrospun scaffolds of poly(ε-caprolactone) with or without carbon nanotubes were developed to promote the in vitro cardiac differentiation of hMSCs.
RESULTS - Results indicate that hMSC differentiation can be enhanced by either culturing in electrically conductive, carbon nanotube-containing composite scaffolds without electrical stimulation in the presence of 5-azacytidine, or extrinsic electrical stimulation in nonconductive poly(ε-caprolactone) scaffolds without carbon nanotube and azacytidine.
CONCLUSION - This study suggests a first step towards improving hMSC cardiomyogenic differentiation for local delivery into the infarcted myocardium.
We demonstrate polyethylene-glycol-coated single-walled carbon nanotubes (CNTs) as contrast agents for both photothermal optical coherence tomography (OCT) and magnetic-resonance imaging (MRI). Photothermal OCT was accomplished with a spectral domain OCT system with an amplitude-modulated 750 nm pump beam using 10 mW of power, and T(2) MRI was achieved with a 4.7 T animal system. Photothermal OCT and T(2) MRI achieved sensitivities of nanomolar concentrations to CNTs dispersed in amine-terminated polyethylene glycol, thus establishing the potential for dual-modality molecular imaging with CNTs.
© 2012 Optical Society of America
We have developed a multiwalled carbon nanotube/dihydropyran (MWCNT/DHP) composite sensor for the electrochemical detection of insulin in a microfluidic device. This sensor has been employed for physiological measurements of secreted insulin from pancreatic islets in a Cytosensor previously modified to be a multianalyte microphysiometer (MAMP). When compared with other established electrochemical insulin sensors, the MWCNT/DHP composite film sensor presented improved resistance to fluidic shear forces, while achieving enhanced electrode kinetics. In addition, the preparation of the composite film is straightforward and facile with a self-polymerizing monomer, DHP, used to add mechanical stability to the film. The sensor film was able to detect insulin concentrations as low as 1muM in the MAMP during calibration experiments. The MWCNT/DHP composite sensor has been successfully used for the direct detection of insulin secreted by islets in the microphysiometer.
Individual single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) and double-wall carbon nanotubes (DWNTs) were suspended in water for optical studies using sodium-cholate and other surfactants. We used time-resolved photoluminescence (PL) spectroscopy to study the influence of tube chirality and diameter as well as of the environment on nonradiative decay in small diameter tubes. The studies provide evidence for PL from small diameter core tubes in DWNTs and for a correlation of nonradiative decay with tube diameter and exciton red shift as induced by interaction with the environment.
A cylindrical transmembrane molecule is constructed by linking hydrophobic sites selected from a coarse grain model. The resulting hollow tube assembly serves as a representation of a transmembrane channel, pore, or a carbon nanotube. The interactions of a coarse grain di-myristoyl-phosphatidyl-choline hydrated bilayer with both a purely hydrophobic tube and a tube with hydrophilic caps are studied. The hydrophobic tube rotates in the membrane and becomes blocked by lipid tails after a few tens of nanoseconds. The hydrophilic sites of the capped tube stabilize it by anchoring the tube in the lipid headgroup/water interfacial region of each membrane leaflet. The capped tube remains free of lipid tails. The capped tube spontaneously conducts coarse grain water sites; the free-energy profile of this process is calculated using three different methods and is compared to the barrier for water permeation through the lipid bilayer. Spontaneous tube insertion into an undisturbed lipid bilayer is also studied, which we reported briefly in a previous publication. The hydrophobic tube submerges into the membrane core in a carpetlike manner. The capped tube laterally fuses with the closest leaflet, and then, after plunging into the membrane interior, rotates to assume a transbilayer orientation. Two lipids become trapped at the end of the tube as it penetrates the membrane. The hydrophilic headgroups of these lipids associate with the lower tube cap and assist the tube in crossing the interior of the membrane. When the rotation is complete these lipids detach from the tube caps and fuse with the lower leaflet lipids.