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Nanofiber containing carbon nanotubes enhanced PC12 cell proliferation and neuritogenesis by electrical stimulation

The nervous system is an important regulator of the human body because it adapts our responses to the external environment and provides people the ability of thought, memory, and emotion. PC12 is a cell line that is commonly used to study the behavior of neural differentiation. PC12 cells further differentiate into nerve cells when stimulated by nerve growth factor (NGF), which have neurite, dendrite, and axon, and form synapses with neighboring cells to build neural networks. Micropatterns and electric stimulation can significantly influence cellular attachment, proliferation, orientation, extracellular matrix (ECM) expression, neural differentiation, and cellular motion. We fabricated polycaprolactone (PCL) nanofiber with or without carbon nanotubes (CNTs) by electrospinning and promoted the neural differentiation of PC12 cells by electric stimulation. We used scanning electron microscope (SEM) and fluorescence microscope to observe the NGF-induced growth of PC12 cells on PCL nanofiber. Axon formation and cellular activity expression, that confirm that PC12 cells can grow well on PCL nanofiber, and the gene expressions of MAP1b and GAP43 significantly increased after electric stimulation. Based on the results, the structure of nanofibers containing CNTs can effectively induce neural differentiation of PC12 cells in an electric field. This experimental model can be used for future clinical applications.