Presentation Title

Dynamic Biomaterials Made From Composites of Silk and Conducting Polymers

Presentation Type

Poster

Abstract

Conducting polymers (CPs) such as poly(pyrrole) and poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) show great promise for use in biomedical applications due to their electrical conductivity, biocompatibility and ability to electrochemically actuate (generate movement under low applied potentials). These actuators are anticipated to serve as implantable dynamic tissue scaffolds (ex. artificial muscles) as well as soft surgical implements. However, CPs are difficult to process and have poor mechanical characteristics. Our group has previously demonstrated that these weaknesses can be ameliorated by creating composites of CPs with silk fibroin. Silk fibroin is a strong, flexible biopolymer that can be used to produce fibroin-CP composites that are processable into a variety of 2D and 3D structures that retain the mechanical characteristics of silk and the conductivity of the CPs. Here, several strategies were explored to produce novel actuation devices from silk-CP composites. Computational modeling of surface topology and dynamics was used to design devices with directed motion, and a laser cutter was used to cut and emboss the desired patterns into silk films. Additionally, selective deposition methods were employed to deposit CP in defined regions of silk films. Device designs were validated by assessing the actuation performance in biologically-relevant electrolyte solutions. This multi-tiered approach to actuator design should allow for rapid development of electroactive tissue scaffolds capable of defined, dynamic movements (ex. cardiac patches).

Start Date

6-5-2017 12:15 PM

End Date

6-5-2017 2:00 PM

Location

Miller Hall

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May 6th, 12:15 PM May 6th, 2:00 PM

Dynamic Biomaterials Made From Composites of Silk and Conducting Polymers

Miller Hall

Conducting polymers (CPs) such as poly(pyrrole) and poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) show great promise for use in biomedical applications due to their electrical conductivity, biocompatibility and ability to electrochemically actuate (generate movement under low applied potentials). These actuators are anticipated to serve as implantable dynamic tissue scaffolds (ex. artificial muscles) as well as soft surgical implements. However, CPs are difficult to process and have poor mechanical characteristics. Our group has previously demonstrated that these weaknesses can be ameliorated by creating composites of CPs with silk fibroin. Silk fibroin is a strong, flexible biopolymer that can be used to produce fibroin-CP composites that are processable into a variety of 2D and 3D structures that retain the mechanical characteristics of silk and the conductivity of the CPs. Here, several strategies were explored to produce novel actuation devices from silk-CP composites. Computational modeling of surface topology and dynamics was used to design devices with directed motion, and a laser cutter was used to cut and emboss the desired patterns into silk films. Additionally, selective deposition methods were employed to deposit CP in defined regions of silk films. Device designs were validated by assessing the actuation performance in biologically-relevant electrolyte solutions. This multi-tiered approach to actuator design should allow for rapid development of electroactive tissue scaffolds capable of defined, dynamic movements (ex. cardiac patches).