Advancing the wireless cell stimulation interplay

May 26, 2022
Sam Findlay

ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science (ACES) and University of Wollongong (UOW) researchers at the Intelligent Polymer Research Institute (IPRI) have unearthed an innovative approach to electrical stimulants of cells using a wireless system.

Prof Jun Chen

The recent findings aim to advance the understanding of the interplay between bipolar electrochemistry (BPE), conductive polymers (CPs) and wireless electrical stimulation of biological systems (WES), whilst being aligned with the Australian Government’s Science and Research Priority“Health”.

The ACES/UOW team behind the paper, titled ‘Enhanced wireless cell stimulation using soft and improved bipolar electroactive conducting polymer templates’, includes Chunyan Qin, Dr Zhilian Yue, Chief Investigator Prof Jun Chen and Director Prof Gordon Wallace, with further collaboration from Dublin City University’s Prof Robert Forster and the Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute’s (IHMRI) Prof Xu-feng Huang.

 “We have been dedicated to the development of innovative wireless electrical stimulation through bipolar electrical stimulation via the combination of bipolar-active conductive polymers and bipolar electrochemistry technology,” said Prof Chen.

“These developments provide an efficient, biocompatible, reliable system that should lead to better models of health care.”

BPES enables an advanced wireless electrical stimulation (WES) platform, having the potential to reduce the device footprint, enable less invasive surgical procedures to be implemented, and also mitigate acute and chronic host response to the implant.

“Novel bipolar electroactive CPs provide a unique conduit for electrical communication with living cells, enabling wireless delivery of both electrical and molecular (bio)chemical stimuli within one system,” Prof Chen added. “By using BPES with CPs we have shown positive influences on cell behaviour including neural cell to proliferation and differentiation.”

“This body of work illustrates the interdisciplinary and international nature of our research within ACES,” said Prof Wallace.

“Such developments are only positive through highly integrated collaborative teams.”

Access the paper for more information on this work here.

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