Tobias Weigel, Tobias Pfister, Tobias Schmitz, Maren Jannasch, Sebastian Schürlein, Reem Al Hijailan, Heike Walles, Jan Hansmann
June 10, 2017
Article number: 20170002
Current implantable electrodes facilitate only a low cellular infiltration impairing the long-term integration into the host’s tissue. To accomplish a seamless electronic-tissue interface, conductive three-dimensional (3D) scaffolds were generated by carbonization of electro-spun fiber meshes. When introducing NaCl particles as porogens, tailored tissue-like electrodes were generated. Characterization of the porous 3D fiber electrodes demonstrated improved material and electrical characteristics compared to standard carbon fiber meshes or flat gold surfaces. The feasibility of the porous 3D electrodes was assessed by cell culture experiments, confirming the migration of cells into the electrode and the formation of contracting cardiomyocyte clusters. Finally, a complex cardiac co-culture system proved the integration of the tissue into the 3D electrode in long-term culture of 7 weeks. These results strengthen the development of tissue-like 3D scaffolds as alternative to two-dimensional (2D) electrodes.