Conducting Polymer Scaffolds Based on Poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) and Xanthan Gum for Live-Cell Monitoring

Isabel Del Agua, Sara Marina, Charalampos Pitsalidis, Daniele Mantione, Magali Ferro, Donata Iandolo, Ana Sanchez-Sanchez, George G. Malliaras, Róisín M. Owens, David Mecerreyes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Conducting polymer scaffolds can promote cell growth by electrical stimulation, which is advantageous for some specific type of cells such as neurons, muscle, or cardiac cells. As an additional feature, the measure of their impedance has been demonstrated as a tool to monitor cell growth within the scaffold. In this work, we present innovative conducting polymer porous scaffolds based on poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) (PEDOT):xanthan gum instead of the well-known PEDOT:polystyrene sulfonate scaffolds. These novel scaffolds combine the conductivity of PEDOT and the mechanical support and biocompatibility provided by a polysaccharide, xanthan gum. For this purpose, first, the oxidative chemical polymerization of 3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene was carried out in the presence of polysaccharides leading to stable PEDOT:xanthan gum aqueous dispersions. Then, by a simple freeze-drying process, porous scaffolds were prepared from these dispersions. Our results indicated that the porosity of the scaffolds and mechanical properties are tuned by the solid content and formulation of the initial PEDOT:polysaccharide dispersion. Scaffolds showed interconnected pore structure with tunable sizes ranging between 10 and 150 μm and Young's moduli between 10 and 45 kPa. These scaffolds successfully support three-dimensional cell cultures of MDCK II eGFP and MDCK II LifeAct epithelial cells, achieving good cell attachment with very high degree of pore coverage. Interestingly, by measuring the impedance of the synthesized PEDOT scaffolds, the growth of the cells could be monitored.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)7424-7431
Number of pages8
JournalACS Omega
Issue number7
StatePublished - 31 Jul 2018


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