Aligned Nanofibers from Polypyrrole/Graphene as Electrodes for Regeneration of Optic Nerve via Electrical Stimulation

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, 2016, 8 (11), pp. 6834 - 6840
Issue Date:
2016-03-30
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© 2016 American Chemical Society. The damage of optic nerve will cause permanent visual field loss and irreversible ocular diseases, such as glaucoma. The damage of optic nerve is mainly derived from the atrophy, apoptosis or death of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs). Though some progress has been achieved on electronic retinal implants that can electrically stimulate undamaged parts of RGCs or retina to transfer signals, stimulated self-repair/regeneration of RGCs has not been realized yet. The key challenge for development of electrically stimulated regeneration of RGCs is the selection of stimulation electrodes with a sufficient safe charge injection limit (Qinj, i.e., electrochemical capacitance). Most traditional electrodes tend to have low Qinjvalues. Herein, we synthesized polypyrrole functionalized graphene (PPy-G) via a facile but efficient polymerization-enhanced ball milling method for the first time. This technique could not only efficiently introduce electron-acceptor nitrogen to enhance capacitance, but also remain a conductive platform-the π-π conjugated carbon plane for charge transportation. PPy-G based aligned nanofibers were subsequently fabricated for guided growth and electrical stimulation (ES) of RGCs. Significantly enhanced viability, neurite outgrowth and antiaging ability of RGCs were observed after ES, suggesting possibilities for regeneration of optic nerve via ES on the suitable nanoelectrodes.
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