Poly(n-isopropylacrylamide) based thin microgel films for use in cell culture applications

Year: 2020

Authors: Sanzari I., Buratti E., Huang R., Tusan C. G., Dinelli F., Evans N. D., Prodromakis T., Bertoldo M.

Autors Affiliation: 1 Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences, University of Southampton, Highfield Campus, Southampton, SO17 1BJ, United Kingdom
2 Istituto dei Sistemi Complessi del Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (ISC-CNR), sede Sapienza, Pz.le Aldo Moro 5, 00185, Roma, Italy
3 Istituto per i Processi Chimico Fisici del Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (IPCF-CNR), sede di Pisa, via Moruzzi 1, 56124, Pisa, Italy
4 Centre for Human Development, Stem Cells and Regeneration, Bioengineering Sciences, University of Southampton Faculty of Medicine, Tremona Road, Southampton, SO16 6YD, United Kingdom
5 Istituto Nazionale di Ottica del Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (INOCNR), via Moruzzi 1, 56124, Pisa, Italy
6 Istituto per la Sintesi Organica e la Fotoreattivitá del Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (ISOF-CNR), via P. Gobetti 101, 40129, Bologna, Italy

Abstract: Poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAm) is widely used to fabricate cell sheet surfaces for cell culturing, however copolymer and interpenetrated polymer networks based on PNIPAm have been rarely explored in the context of tissue engineering. Many complex and expensive techniques have been employed to produce PNIPAm-based films for cell culturing. Among them, spin coating has demonstrated to be a rapid fabrication process of thin layers with high reproducibility and uniformity. In this study, we introduce an innovative approach to produce anchored smart thin films both thermo- and electro-responsive, with the aim to integrate them in electronic devices and better control or mimic different environments for cells in vitro. Thin films were obtained by spin coating of colloidal solutions made by PNIPAm and PAAc nanogels. Anchoring the films to the substrates was obtained through heat treatment in the presence of dithiol molecules. From analyses carried out with AFM and XPS, the final samples exhibited a flat morphology and high stability to water washing. Viability tests with cells were finally carried out to demonstrate that this approach may represent a promising route to integrate those hydrogels films in electronic platforms for cell culture applications.


Volume: 10      Pages from: 6126  to: 6132

KeyWords: Colloids, PNIPAm, IPN, nanogels, thin films
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-020-63228-9