Graphene Foam as a Three-Dimensional Platform for Myotube Growth

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This study demonstrates the growth and differentiation of C2C12 myoblasts into functional myotubes on three-dimensional graphene foam bioscaffolds. Specifically, we establish both bare and laminin-coated graphene foam as a biocompatible platform for muscle cells and identify that electrical coupling stimulates cell activity. Cell differentiation and functionality is determined by the expression of myotube heavy chain protein and Ca2+ fluorescence, respectively. Further, our data show that the application of a pulsed electrical stimulus to the graphene foam initiates myotube contraction and subsequent localized substrate movement of over 100 μm. These findings will further the development of advanced three-dimensional graphene platforms for therapeutic applications and tissue engineering.