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Vertically Aligned Carbon Nanofiber Architecture as a Multifunctional 3-D Neural Electrical Interface

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6 Author(s)

Developing biomaterial constructs that closely mimic the natural tissue microenvironment with its complex chemical and physical cues is essential for improving the function and reliability of implantable devices, especially those that require direct neural-electrical interfaces. Here we demonstrate that free-standing vertically aligned carbon nanofiber (VACNF) arrays can be used as a multifunctional 3-D brush-like nanoengineered matrix that interpenetrates the neuronal network of PC12 cells. We found that PC12 neuron cells cultured on VACNF substrates can form extended neural network upon proper chemical and biochemical modifications. The soft 3-D VACNF architecture provides a new platform to fine-tune the topographical, mechanical, chemical, and electrical cues at subcellular nanoscale. This new biomaterial platform can be used for both fundamental studies of material-cell interactions and the development of chronically stable implantable neural devices. Micropatterned multiplex VACNF arrays can be selectively controlled by electrical and electrochemical methods to provide localized stimulation with extraordinary spatiotemporal resolution. Further development of this technology may potentially result in a highly multiplex closed-loop system with multifunctions for neuromodulation and neuroprostheses

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering  (Volume:54 ,  Issue: 6 )