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Soft Conducting Polymer Hydrogels Crosslinked and Doped by Tannic Acid for Spinal Cord Injury Repair.

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Soft Conducting Polymer Hydrogels Crosslinked and Doped by Tannic Acid for Spinal Cord Injury Repair.

ACS Nano. 2018 Oct 04;:

Authors: Zhou L, Fan L, Yi X, Zhou Z, Liu C, Fu R, Dai C, Wang Z, Chen X, Yu P, Chen D, Tan G, Wang Q, Ning C

Abstract
Mimicking soft tissue mechanical properties and the high conductivity required for electrical transmission in the native spinal cord is critical in nerve tissue regeneration scaffold designs. However, fabricating scaffolds of high conductivity, tissue-like mechanical properties and excellent biocompatibility simultaneously remains a great challenge. Here, a soft, highly conductive, biocompatible conducting polymer hydrogel (CPH) based on a plant-derived polyphenol, tannic acid (TA), crosslinking and doping conducting polypyrrole (PPy) chains is developed to explore its therapeutic efficacy after a spinal cord injury (SCI). The developed hydrogels exhibit an excellent electronic conductivity (0.05-0.18 S/cm) and appropriate mechanical properties (0.3-2.2 kPa), which can be achieved by controlling TA concentration. In vitro, a CPH with a higher conductivity accelerated the differentiation of neural stem cells (NSCs) into neurons while suppressing the development of astrocytes. In vivo, with relatively high conductivity, the CPH can activate endogenous NSC neurogenesis in the lesion area, resulting in significant recovery of locomotor function. Overall, our findings evidence that the CPHs without being combined with any other therapeutic agents have stimulated tissue repair following an SCI, and thus have important implications for future biomaterial designs for SCI therapy.

PMID: 30285411 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

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