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College of Engineering and Computing

Biomedical Engineering

Carbon Nanotubes as Modulators of Extracellular and Transporters of Intracellular Cues

Despite the considerable progress in identifying the microenvironmental regulators of stem cells, we face limitations in recapitulating the dynamic cooperative effects of these signals.

We introduce a new generation of platforms, based on the use of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) that allow for control over the nanoscale spatial organization of microenvironmental signals. The cornerstone concept motivating this effort is the unique ability of CNTs to dynamically couple electrical and mechanical properties. The short-term vision of this proposal is to generate a biologically adaptable device testbed for electromechanical pacing of stem cells for cardiovascular repair. The long-term vision of this proposal is to develop a new generation cell culture systems that allow for diagnosis, monitoring and dynamic dialing of electromechanical signals to guide cell fate decisions. We seek to fulfill the following goals to establish the proof of principle for the use of CNT based nanoengineered platforms: (1) integrate carbon nanotube arrays in to self-assembled systems that are spatially and electrically tunable, (2) establish the control over cell interfacial experimental model for bioelectric and mechanical signaling.


  • M. V. Pryzhkova, I. Aria, Q. Cheng G. Harris, M. Gharib, and E. Jabbarzadeh, Biomaterials 35(19): 5098-5109 (2014).
  • Q. Cheng, G. Harris, and E. Jabbarzadeh, PLoS One 8(12) e81947 (2013).
  • Q Cheng, K. Rutledge, E. Jabbarzadeh, Annals of Biomedical Engineering 41(5) 904-16 (2013).

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.