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Publication Date


Date of Final Oral Examination (Defense)


Type of Culminating Activity

Thesis - Boise State University Access Only

Degree Title

Master of Science in Materials Science and Engineering


Materials Science and Engineering

Major Advisor

David Estrada, Ph.D.


Kurtis D. Cantley, Ph.D.


Matthew L. Ferguson, Ph.D.


The success of end-stage organ transplant treatment is typically dependent on the supply of donor organs. The field of tissue engineering, including the use of stem cells, is integral to reduce the dependence on donated organs for organ transplant. Biocompatible scaffolding can be used to control stem cell growth and differentiation. Graphene, a multifunctional material comprised of a single layer of carbon atoms arranged in a two-dimensional hexagonal crystal and its derivatives have been shown to act as a porous bioscaffold [1-3]. Previous studies have shown that this layer can encourage growth and differentiation of stem cells along osteogenic and chondrogenic lineages.

In this study, bare and protein coated graphene foam (GF) was used as a bioscaffold for myogenic differentiation of C2C12 cardiomyoblasts. The GF was synthesized via chemical vapor deposition (CVD) and characterized by SEM, Raman spectroscopy, and X-ray micro-CT. The GF bioscaffolds were seeded with C2C12 myoblast cells. Cell growth and proliferation was monitored via fluorescence microscopy and qPCR. Cell differentiation was evaluated by visual observation of multinucleated myotubes and the expression of genetic markers. Cell functionality was determined by Ca2+ fluorescence: a pulsed electrical stimulus initiated myotube contraction and subsequent localized GF movement on the scale of 100 microns. These findings provided new insight into GF as a bioscaffold for growth and differentiation of functional myogenic tissue and are expected to further the development of multifunctional 3-dimensional bioscaffolds.

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