CHAPTER 7: Carbon Nanotubes for Cardiac Applications
Published:03 Feb 2021
B. Peña, N. Alegret, M. Laughter, M. R. G. Taylor, L. Mestroni, and M. Prato, in Carbon Nanostructures for Biomedical Applications, ed. T. Da Ros, N. Martín, and J. Nierengarten, The Royal Society of Chemistry, 2021, pp. 223-256.
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Due to the unique electrical, mechanical and thermal features of carbon nanotubes (CNTs), several authors have tested the therapeutic effect of CNTs on electroactive cells to develop novel tissue engineering approaches. In this regard, the first studies assessing the effect of CNTs on cardiac cells showed that neonatal rat ventricular myocytes (NRVMs) cultured on CNT-coated substrates have improved viability, proliferation, maturation and electrical properties when compared with NRVMs grown on gelatin coated tissue culture dishes as controls. Furthermore, NRVMs cultured on CNT-coated substrates displayed increased expression of gap junctions and, overall, a more mature phenotype, with enhanced electrophysiological behavior and more robust networking and maturation into functional syncytia. These results support the use of CNT for cardiac tissue engineering applications to develop innovative therapies for cardiac repair. In this book chapter, we discuss the use of CNTs for cardiac applications including their use in biomaterials, their biological effect on cardiac cells and their toxicity and potential alternatives to overcome this limitation.