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Fabrication and Characterization of Graphene Oxide-Coated Plate for Efficient Culture of Stem Cells

Abstract

Background:

For stem cell applications in regenerative medicine, it is very important to produce high-quality stem cells in large quantities in a short time period. Recently, many studies have shown big potential of graphene oxide as a biocompatible substance to enhance cell growth. We investigated if graphene oxide-coated culture plate can promote production efficiency of stem cells.

Methods:

Three types of graphene oxide were used for this study. They are highly concentrated graphene oxide solution, single-layer graphene oxide solution, and ultra-highly concentrated single-layer graphene oxide solution with different single-layer ratios, and coated on cell culture plates using a spray coating method. Physiochemical and biological properties of graphene oxide-coated surface were analyzed by atomic force microscope (AFM), scanning electron microscope (SEM), cell counting kit, a live/dead assay kit, and confocal imaging.

Results:

Graphene oxide was evenly coated on cell culture plates with a roughness of 6.4 ~ 38.2 nm, as measured by SEM and AFM. Young’s Modulus value was up to 115.1 GPa, confirming that graphene oxide was strongly glued to the surface. The ex vivo stem cell expansion efficiency was enhanced as bone marrow-derived stem cell doubling time on the graphene oxide decreased compared to the control (no graphene oxide coating), from 64 to 58 h, and the growth rate increased up to 145%. We also observed faster attachment and higher affinity of stem cells to the graphene oxide compared to control by confocal microscope.

Conclusion:

This study demonstrated that graphene oxide dramatically enhanced the ex vivo expansion efficiency of stem cells. Spray coating enabled an ultra-thin coating of graphene oxide on cell culture plates. The results supported that utilization of graphene oxide on culture plates can be a promising mean for mass production of stem cells for commercial applications.

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Acknowledgement

This work was supported by the Central Research Center, Corestem Inc. (Seoul, Republic of Korea).

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Correspondence to Jeong Ok Lim.

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The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.

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This study was approved by the Institutional Review Board of Chilgok Kyungpook National University Hospital (IRB: 2017-11-015-007).

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Park, D., Park, J., Lee, J. et al. Fabrication and Characterization of Graphene Oxide-Coated Plate for Efficient Culture of Stem Cells. Tissue Eng Regen Med 18, 775–785 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13770-021-00370-z

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Keywords

  • Graphene oxide
  • Ex vivo expansion efficiency
  • Stem cell
  • Large-scale cell culture