Human Neural Tissues from Neural Stem Cells Using Conductive Biogel and Printed Polymer Microelectrode Arrays for 3D Electrical Stimulation

Eva Tomaskovic-Crook, Peikai Zhang, Annika Ahtiainen, Heidi Kaisvuo, Chong Yong Lee, Stephen Beirne, Zaid Aqrawe, Darren Svirskis, Jari Hyttinen, Gordon G. Wallace, Jadranka Travas-Sejdic, Jeremy M. Crook

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    18 Citations (Scopus)


    Electricity is important in the physiology and development of human tissues such as embryonic and fetal development, and tissue regeneration for wound healing. Accordingly, electrical stimulation (ES) is increasingly being applied to influence cell behavior and function for a biomimetic approach to in vitro cell culture and tissue engineering. Here, the application of conductive polymer (CP) poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene)-polystyrenesulfonate (PEDOT:PSS) pillars is described, direct-write printed in an array format, for 3D ES of maturing neural tissues that are derived from human neural stem cells (NSCs). NSCs are initially encapsulated within a conductive polysaccharide-based biogel interfaced with the CP pillar microelectrode arrays (MEAs), followed by differentiation in situ to neurons and supporting neuroglia during stimulation. Electrochemical properties of the pillar electrodes and the biogel support their electrical performance. Remarkably, stimulated constructs are characterized by widespread tracts of high-density mature neurons and enhanced maturation of functional neural networks. Formation of tissues using the 3D MEAs substantiates the platform for advanced clinically relevant neural tissue induction, with the system likely amendable to diverse cell types to create other neural and non-neural tissues. The platform may be useful for both research and translation, including modeling tissue development, function and dysfunction, electroceuticals, drug screening, and regenerative medicine.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number1900425
    Number of pages10
    Issue number15
    Early online date2019
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2019
    Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • 3D electrical stimulation
    • conductive biogels
    • human neural tissue
    • printed conducting polymer electrodes
    • stem cells

    Publication forum classification

    • Publication forum level 1

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Biomaterials
    • Biomedical Engineering
    • Pharmaceutical Science


    Dive into the research topics of 'Human Neural Tissues from Neural Stem Cells Using Conductive Biogel and Printed Polymer Microelectrode Arrays for 3D Electrical Stimulation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this