doi:10.1038/nindia.2016.144 Published online 1 November 2016
Researchers have synthesized meshes using a composite of graphene nanoplatelets and a polymer in a technique potentially useful for replacing damaged muscle tissues after injury and disease.
The polymer act as scaffolds for differentiation and growth of myoblast cells1,which develop into muscle cells.
Composites of graphene and polymer have shown great potential for differentiating neural stem cells and delivering drugs. But, little was known about its potential for helping differentiation and growth of myoblasts.
Using electrospinning method, scientists from Kolkata-based Jadavpur University and Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science tested the efficiencies of these meshes in differentiating and growing mice myoblast cells which eventually form skeletal muscle tissues.
Myogenin is a protein which is essential for the development of functional skeletal muscle. Culturing the myoblast cells on the meshes showed the expression of myogenin and related genes at early stage, indicating their cell-regenerating capacity.
Such regeneration prowess could be attributed to the nanofibrous structure of the meshes which sufficiently supplies nutrients to the differentiating and growing cells. The growing cells secrete small molecular substances which are adsorbed on to the graphene surface, helping cell proliferation and differentiation.
The meshes can act as next-generation scaffolds for skeletal muscle tissue regeneration, say the researchers.
1. Chaudhuri, B. et al. Myoblast differentiation and protein expression in electrospun graphene oxide (GO)-poly (ε-caprolactone, PCL) composite meshes. Mater. Lett. 182, 194-197 (2016)