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Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics; Department of Chemical Engineering; Department of Materials Science and Engineering; Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology; Health Research Institute; Department of Biomedical Engineering


Conductive biohybrid cell-material systems have applications in bioelectronics and biorobotics. To date, conductive scaffolds are limited to those with low electrical conductivity or 2D sheets. Here, 3D biohybrid conductive systems are developed using fibroblasts or cardiomyocytes integrated with carbon nanotube (CNT) forests that are densified due to interactions with a gelatin coating. CNT forest scaffolds with a height range of 120–240 µm and an average electrical conductivity of 0.6 S/cm are developed and shown to be cytocompatible as evidenced from greater than 89% viability measured by live-dead assay on both cells on day 1. The cells spread on top and along the height of the CNT forest scaffolds. Finally, the scaffolds have no adverse effects on the expression of genes related to cardiomyocyte maturation and functionality, or fibroblast migration, adhesion, and spreading. The results show that the scaffold could be used in applications ranging from organ-on-a-chip systems to muscle actuators. Graphical abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

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Journal of Materials Research

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


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