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The Biosensors and Bioelectronics Centre is working to harness the fundamental research activities and innovation at LiU to facilitate the creation of the next generation of bioelectronic devices and to support the national and worldwide development of the field. Bioelectronics seeks to exploit biology in conjunction with electronics in a wider context encompassing, for example, biological fuel cells, bionics and biomaterials for information processing, information storage, electronic components and actuators. A key aspect is the interface between biological materials and micro- and nano-electronics. Work at the Centre today spans a full range of core technologies including: bioimaging and drug delivery; bio-inspired and bio-specific ligands; biointerfaces; biomaterials; biomolecular electronics; biosensors; chemical transducers; pre-clinical trials; printing and microfabrication; micro-actuators; nanomaterials and nanostructures; tissue scaffolds; smart materials and nanomaterials; therapeutics; and user interfaces and electronic design.

Power-on-demand biofuel cells

Our recent research on enzymatic biofuel cells has focused on increasing the life-time and energy density via enzyme cascades to increase the degree of oxidation of the fuel, improved electron transfer pathways and novel immobilisation techniques. We are now focusing on incorporating functional materials at the electrode surface to deliver power-on-demand biofuel cells with tunable output, using high-permeability ion-conducting nano-frameworks.

Smart scaffolds for cardiac regeneration

Engineered smart scaffolds are an interesting alternative to deliver stem cells. In this IGEN (Integrative Regenerative Medicine Center) funded project we are developing smart scaffolds for cardiac regeneration and improved stem cell differentiation. Employing a novel synthesis protocol developed in the project by IGEN-fellow, Dr Amy Gelmi, we can reproducibly produce electroactive scaffolds that have been shown to be biocompatible with a variety of cells, amongst others cardiac progenitor cells and induced pluripotent stem cells. In collaboration with Prof Marek Los and Dr Artur Cieslar-Pobuda (HU), we are currently investigating the effects of electro-mechanical stimulation on stem cell differentiation into cardio-myocytes.

Actin stained induced pluripotent stem cells on PPy coated fibre scaffold showing excellent cell viability

Influence of Conductive Polymer Doping on the Viability of Cardiac Progenitor Cells

Cardiac tissue engineering via the use of stem cells is the future for repairing impaired heart function that results from a myocardial infarction. Developing an optimised platform to support the stem cells is vital to realising this, and through utilising new ‘smart’ materials such as conductive polymers we can provide a multi-pronged approach to supporting and stimulating the stem cells via engineered surface properties, electrical, and electromechanical stimulation. Here we present a fundamental study on the viability of cardiac progenitor cells on conductive polymer surfaces, focusing on the impact of surface properties such as roughness, surface energy, and surface chemistry with variation of the polymer dopant molecules. The conductive polymer materials were shown to provide a viable support for both endothelial and cardiac progenitor cells, while the surface energy and roughness were observed to influence viability for both progenitor cell types. Characterising the interaction between the cardiac progenitor cells and the conductive polymer surface is a critical step towards optimising these materials for cardiac tissue regeneration, and this study will advance the limited knowledge on biomaterial surface interactions with cardiac cells.

Mechanostimulation of cells

In collaboration with Dr Anna Fahlgren (IKE, LiU) and the Academic Centre for Dentistry Amsterdam (ACTA) in the Netherlands, we are developing a range of materials and devices for the area of mechanobiology. We have investigated the effect of a variety of our mechanoactive polymers on the viability of human primary osteoblasts, which proved to be as good as standard materials. Together with Dr Karl Svennersten and Dr Katarina Hallén Grufman, MD, at the Karolinska Institute we are studying mechanotransduction in the urinary tract using our unique mechanostimulation chip-technology.  

Responsible for this page: Martin Wing Cheung Mak
Last updated: 06/16/15