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Dr. Hsiao-Hua Yu's article entitled "Large Enhancement of Neurite Outgrowth on a Cell-Membrane Mimicking Conducting Polymer" is accepted by the iconic journal "Nature Communications"


2014-07-26

Although electrically stimulated neurite outgrowth on bioelectronic devices is a promising means of nerve regeneration, immunogenic scar formation can insulate electrodes from targeted cells and tissues, thereby reducing the lifetime of the device. Ideally, an electrode material capable of electrically interfacing with neurons selectively and efficiently would be integrated without being recognized by the immune system and minimize its response. Here we develop a cell membrane-mimicking conducting polymer possessing several attractive features. This polymer displays high resistance towards nonspecific enzyme/cell binding and recognizes targeted cells specifically to allow intimate electrical communication over long periods of time. Its low electrical impedance relays electrical signals efficiently. This material is capable to integrate biochemical and electrical stimulation to promote neural cellular behaviour. Neurite outgrowth is enhanced greatly on this new conducting polymer; in addition, electrically stimulated secretion of proteins from primary Schwann cells can also occur on it.

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