Poly(ε-caprolactone)-carbon nanotube composite scaffolds for enhanced cardiac differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cells

Nanomedicine (Lond). 2013 Nov;8(11):1763-76. doi: 10.2217/nnm.12.204. Epub 2013 Mar 27.


Aim: To evaluate the efficacy of electrically conductive, biocompatible composite scaffolds in modulating the cardiomyogenic differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs).

Materials & methods: Electrospun scaffolds of poly(ε-caprolactone) with or without carbon nanotubes were developed to promote the in vitro cardiac differentiation of hMSCs.

Results: Results indicate that hMSC differentiation can be enhanced by either culturing in electrically conductive, carbon nanotube-containing composite scaffolds without electrical stimulation in the presence of 5-azacytidine, or extrinsic electrical stimulation in nonconductive poly(ε-caprolactone) scaffolds without carbon nanotube and azacytidine.

Conclusion: This study suggests a first step towards improving hMSC cardiomyogenic differentiation for local delivery into the infarcted myocardium.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Cell Differentiation / physiology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Humans
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Nanotubes, Carbon / chemistry*
  • Polyesters / chemistry*
  • Tissue Engineering / methods
  • Tissue Scaffolds / chemistry*


  • Nanotubes, Carbon
  • Polyesters
  • polycaprolactone