Nanotechnologies for tissue engineering

Improving tissue performances with gold nanostructures – Our lab develops technologies to improve electrogenic tissues function by incorporation of gold nanostructures in the scaffolding materials. We have demonstrated the beneficial effect of AuNPs on the differentiation, growth, and maturation of neurons on 3D biomaterial scaffolds. When cardiomyocytes were grown within the scaffolds, the engineered tissues exhibited stronger contraction forces.

Incorporation of gold nanowires within alginate scaffolds.
Incorporation of gold nanowires within alginate scaffolds.

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Incorporation of gold nanowires within alginate scaffolds.
Incorporation of gold nanowires within alginate scaffolds.

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ESEM images of Au-deposited decellularized scaffolds. 500 nm
ESEM images of Au-deposited decellularized scaffolds. 500 nm

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Incorporation of gold nanowires within alginate scaffolds.
Incorporation of gold nanowires within alginate scaffolds.

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HRTEM micrographs of AuNRs. 50 nm.
HRTEM micrographs of AuNRs. 50 nm.

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AuNRs adsorption to electrospun albumin scaffolds
AuNRs adsorption to electrospun albumin scaffolds

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Cardiac patch integration.
Cardiac patch integration.

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HRTEM micrographs of AuNRs. 50 nm.
HRTEM micrographs of AuNRs. 50 nm.

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Exploiting special properties of gold nanostructures for tissue engineering - Although cardiac patches hold a promise for repairing the infarcted heart, their integration with the myocardium by sutures may cause further damage to the diseased organ. To address this issue, we developed facile and safe, suture-free technology for the attachment of engineered tissues to organs: 

Nanocomposite scaffolds comprised of albumin electrospun fibers and gold nanorods (AuNRs) were developed. The AuNRs were able to absorb the light and convert it to thermal energy, which locally changed the molecular structure of the fibrous scaffold, and strongly, but safely, attached it to the wall of the heart.