Smart Sensing Scaffolds

Carmelo De Maria, Yudan Whulanza, Giovanni Vozzi, Arti Ahluwalia

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


There is great interest in measuring cell functions on three dimensional scaffolds without using invasive and destructive methods. Here we describe how scaffolds for tissue engineering can also be used as sensors for monitoring cellular activity such as adhesion and spreading. Carbon nanotube polyester-polymer composites were fabricated into membranes and scaffolds with electro-conductive properties. Several nanotube concentrations were introduced aiming at understanding their influence on mechanical properties, impedance features and electric percolation threshold of the polymer matrix. It was observed that a concentration of 0.3% was able to transform an insulating matrix into a conductive one. Experimental results were compared with theoretical models. Impedance techniques were used to measure the effects of media and cell cultures on composite membranes and the results were analysed using lumped parameter models. Impedance changes can be correlated with protein or cell adhesion, spreading and changes in cell density.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSmart Membranes and Sensors
Subtitle of host publicationSynthesis, Characterization, and Applications
Number of pages30
ISBN (Electronic)9781119028642
ISBN (Print)9781118423790
Publication statusPublished - 20 Oct 2014


  • CNTs
  • Impendence measurements
  • Mechanical properties
  • Percolation theory
  • Smart scaffolds


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