Conductive core-sheath nanofibers and their potential application in neural tissue engineering

Jingwei Xie, Matthew R. MacEwcm, Stephanie M. Willerth, Xiaoran Li, Daniel W. Moran, Shelly E. Sakiyama-Elbert, Younan Xia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

251 Scopus citations


Conductive core-sheath nanofibers are prepared by a combination of electrospinning and aqueous polymerization. Specifically, nanofibers electrospun from poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) and poly(1-lactide) (PLA) are employed as templates to generate uniform sheaths of polypyrrole (PPy) by in-situ polymerization. These conductive core-sheath nanofibers offer a unique system to study the synergistic effect of different cues on neurite outgrowth in vitro. It is found that explanted dorsal root ganglia (DRC) adhere well to the conductive core-sheath nanofibers and generate neurites across the surface when there is a nerve growth factor in the medium. Furthermore, the neurites can be oriented along one direction and enhanced by 82% in terms of maximum length when uniaxially aligned conductive core-sheath nanofibers are compared with their random counterparts. Electrical stimulation, when applied through the mats of conductive core-sheath nanofibers, is found to further increase the maximum length of neurites for random and aligned samples by 83% and 47%, respectively, relative to the controls without electrical stimulation. Together these results suggest the potential use of the conductive core-sheath nanofibers as scaffolds in applications such as neural tissue engineering.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2312-2318
Number of pages7
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Issue number14
StatePublished - Jul 24 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • General Chemistry
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • General Materials Science
  • Electrochemistry
  • Biomaterials


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