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International Journal of Biomaterials
Volume 2017, Article ID 3684812, 9 pages
Research Article

Silicone Substrate with Collagen and Carbon Nanotubes Exposed to Pulsed Current for MSC Osteodifferentiation

Bioengineering Program, Department of Engineering, Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY 11549, USA

Correspondence should be addressed to Roche C. de Guzman; ude.artsfoh@namzuged.c.ehcor

Received 11 April 2017; Revised 16 July 2017; Accepted 24 July 2017; Published 23 August 2017

Academic Editor: Feng-Huei Lin

Copyright © 2017 Daniyal Jamal and Roche C. de Guzman. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Autologous human adipose tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have the potential for clinical translation through their induction into osteoblasts for regeneration. Bone healing can be driven by biophysical stimulation using electricity for activating quiescent adult stem cells. It is hypothesized that application of electric current will enhance their osteogenic differentiation, and addition of conductive carbon nanotubes (CNTs) to the cell substrate will provide increased efficiency in current transmission. Cultured MSCs were seeded and grown onto fabricated silicone-based composites containing collagen and CNT fibers. Chemical inducers, namely, glycerol phosphate, dexamethasone, and vitamin C, were then added to the medium, and pulsatile submilliampere electrical currents (about half mA for 5 cycles at 4 mHz, twice a week) were applied for two weeks. Calcium deposition indicative of MSC differentiation and osteoblastic activity was quantified through Alizarin Red S and spectroscopy. It was found that pulsed current significantly increased osteodifferentiation on silicone-collagen films without CNTs. Under no external current, the presence of 10% (m/m) CNTs led to a significant and almost triple upregulation of calcium deposition. Both CNTs and current parameters did not appear to be synergistic. These conditions of enhanced osteoblastic activities may further be explored ultimately towards future therapeutic use of MSCs.