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Materials Chemistry and Physics

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Design of a proper scaffold is the first step in fabrication of a tissue engineering product, which should be able to support cellular growth in in vitro conditions. This study focuses on the fabrication and characterization of chitosan (CS) scaffolds containing PEDOT:PSS, a conductive polymer. The scaffold is primarily designed for cardiac tissue engineering, although it can be used for other applications too. Chitosan scaffolds containing 0.3, 0.6 and 1 wt% of PEDOT:PSS are fabricated through electrospinning. The structure and morphology of scaffolds are characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), 3D Laser Measuring Microscopy and Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). The electrical and mechanical properties, as well as biocompatibility and cell viability of scaffolds are also investigated. It is found that addition of PEDOT:PSS to chitosan scaffold not only enhances the mechanical properties and electrical conductivity of electrospun scaffolds, but also improves their biocompatibility and cell viability. Our results have shown that increasing the PEDOT:PSS content up to 1 wt% results in 30–40% reduction of fiber diameter and increase in electrical conductivity by around 100-fold. Additionally, in the scaffold containing 1 wt% of PEDOT:PSS, the tensile strength increases about 9 MPa compared to the neat sample. Results obtained from scaffolds compared with the properties of native myocardium extracellular matrix reveal its potential application for cardiac tissue engineering.


Accepted version. Materials Chemistry and Physics, Vol. 237 (November 1, 2019): 121882. DOI. © 2019 Elsevier. Used with permission.

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