Bio-inspired hybrid carbon nanotube muscles

Tae Hyeob Kim, Cheong Hoon Kwon, Changsun Lee, Jieun An, Tam Thi Thanh Phuong, Sun Hwa Park, Márcio D. Lima, Ray H. Baughman, Tong Mook Kang, Seon Jeong Kim

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There has been continuous progress in the development for biomedical engineering systems of hybrid muscle generated by combining skeletal muscle and artificial structure. The main factor affecting the actuation performance of hybrid muscle relies on the compatibility between living cells and their muscle scaffolds during cell culture. Here, we developed a hybrid muscle powered by C2C12 skeletal muscle cells based on the functionalized multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT) sheets coated with poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) (PEDOT) to achieve biomimetic actuation. This hydrophilic hybrid muscle is physically durable in solution and responds to electric field stimulation with flexible movement. Furthermore, the biomimetic actuation when controlled by electric field stimulation results in movement similar to that of the hornworm by patterned cell culture method. The contraction and relaxation behavior of the PEDOT/MWCNT-based hybrid muscle is similar to that of the single myotube movement, but has faster relaxation kinetics because of the shape-maintenance properties of the freestanding PEDOT/MWCNT sheets in solution. Our development provides the potential possibility for substantial innovation in the next generation of cell-based biohybrid microsystems.

Original languageEnglish
Article number26687
JournalScientific reports
StatePublished - 2016 May 25

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    Kim, T. H., Kwon, C. H., Lee, C., An, J., Phuong, T. T. T., Park, S. H., Lima, M. D., Baughman, R. H., Kang, T. M., & Kim, S. J. (2016). Bio-inspired hybrid carbon nanotube muscles. Scientific reports, 6, [26687].