In this study, regenerated silk (RS) obtained from Bombyx Mori cocoons is compounded with carboxyl-functionalized carbon nanotubes (f-CNTs) in an aqueous environment for the fabrication of functional bio-adhesives. Molecular interactions between RS and carboxyl groups of CNTs result in structural increase of the β-sheet formation, obtaining a resistant adhesive suitable for a wet biological substrate. Moreover, the functionalization of CNTs promotes their dispersion in RS, thus enabling the production of films with controlled electrical conductivity. The practical utility of such a property is demonstrated through the fabrication of a piezoelectric device implanted in a rat to monitor the breathing in vivo and to be used as a self-powered system. Finally, RS/f-CNTs were used as a printable biomaterial ink to three dimensionally print bilayer hollow tubular structures composed of poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate) (PHBV) and RS. Initial tests carried out by seeding and growing human skin fibroblasts demonstrated that the 3D printed bilayer hollow cylindrical structures offer a suitable surface for the seeded cells to attach and proliferate. In general, the herein proposed RS/f-CNT composite serves as a versatile material for solvent-free dispersion processing and 3D printing, thus paving a new approach to prepare multifunctional materials with potential applications of great interest in sealing biological substrates and implantable devices for regenerative medicine.

Carbon Nanotubes/Regenerated Silk Composite as a Three-Dimensional Printable Bio-Adhesive Ink with Self-Powering Properties

Degli Esposti, Micaela;Morselli, Davide;Fabbri, Paola;
2021

Abstract

In this study, regenerated silk (RS) obtained from Bombyx Mori cocoons is compounded with carboxyl-functionalized carbon nanotubes (f-CNTs) in an aqueous environment for the fabrication of functional bio-adhesives. Molecular interactions between RS and carboxyl groups of CNTs result in structural increase of the β-sheet formation, obtaining a resistant adhesive suitable for a wet biological substrate. Moreover, the functionalization of CNTs promotes their dispersion in RS, thus enabling the production of films with controlled electrical conductivity. The practical utility of such a property is demonstrated through the fabrication of a piezoelectric device implanted in a rat to monitor the breathing in vivo and to be used as a self-powered system. Finally, RS/f-CNTs were used as a printable biomaterial ink to three dimensionally print bilayer hollow tubular structures composed of poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate) (PHBV) and RS. Initial tests carried out by seeding and growing human skin fibroblasts demonstrated that the 3D printed bilayer hollow cylindrical structures offer a suitable surface for the seeded cells to attach and proliferate. In general, the herein proposed RS/f-CNT composite serves as a versatile material for solvent-free dispersion processing and 3D printing, thus paving a new approach to prepare multifunctional materials with potential applications of great interest in sealing biological substrates and implantable devices for regenerative medicine.
Bon, Silvia Bittolo; Chiesa, Irene; Degli Esposti, Micaela; Morselli, Davide; Fabbri, Paola; De Maria, Carmelo; Morabito, Antonino; Coletta, Riccardo; Calamai, Martino; Pavone, Francesco Saverio; Tonin, Rodolfo; Morrone, Amelia; Giorgi, Giacomo; Valentini, Luca
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/820109
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