Skip to main content

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



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.


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.


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.


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.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7
Fig. 8
Fig. 9
Fig. 10


  1. 1.

    Mason C, Dunnill P. A brief definition of regenerative medicine. Regen Med. 2007;3:1–5.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Go EJ, Yoon SY. Next-generation biopharmaceuticals and cell therapy market status and prospects. 2017. LG Economic Research Institute. of subordinate document. Accessed 30 Nov 2017.

  3. 3.

    Yoo JJ, Cho CS, Jo I. Applications of organoids for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. Tissue Eng Regen Med. 2020;17:729–30.

  4. 4.

    Roberts JN, Sahoo JK, Mcnamara LE, Burgess KV, Yang J, Alakpa EV, et al. Dynamic surfaces for the study of mesenchymal stem cell growth through adhesion regulation. ACS Nano. 2016;10:6667–79.

  5. 5.

    Virdi JK, Pethe P. Biomaterials regulate mechanosensors YAP/TAZ in stem cell growth and differentiation. Tissue Eng Regen Med. 2021;18:199–215.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Nishmura A, Nakajima R, Takagi R, Zhou G, Suzuki D, Kiyama M, et al. Fabrication of tissue-engineered cell sheets by automated cell culture equipment. J Tissue Eng Regen Med. 2019;13:2246–55.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    Kim TH, Lee T, El-Said WA, Choi JW. Graphene-based materials for stem cell applications. Materials (Basel). 2015;8:8674–90.

  8. 8.

    Luong-Van K, Mananagopal T, Rosa V. Mechanisms of graphene influence on cell differentiation. Mater Today Chem. 2020;6:100250.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    Bolotin KI, Sikes KJ, Jiang Z, Klima M, Fudenberg G, Hone J, et al. Ultrahigh electron mobility in suspended graphene. Solid State Commun. 2008;146:351–5.

  10. 10.

    Morozov SV, Novoselov KS, Katsnelson MI, Schedin F, Elias DC, Jaszczak JA, et al. Giant intrinsic carrier mobilities in graphene and its bilaye. Phys Rev Lett. 2008;100:016602.

  11. 11.

    Lee C, Wei X, Kysar JW, Hone J. Measurement of the elastic properties and intrinsic strength of monolayer graphene. Science. 2008;18:385–8.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. 12.

    Zhong M, Xu D, Yu X, Hugn K, Liu X, Qu Y, et al. Interface coupling in graphene/fluorographene heterostructure for high-performance graphene/silicon solar cells. Nano Energy. 2016;28:12–8.

  13. 13.

    Akinwande D, Tao L, Yu Q, Lou X, Peng P, Kuzum D. Large-area graphene electrodes: using CVD to facilitate applications in commercial touchscreens, flexible nanoelectronics, and neural interfaces. IEEE Nanatechnol Mag. 2015;9:6–14.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. 14.

    Ruiz ON, Shiral Fernando KA, Wang B, Brown NA, Luo PG, McNamara ND, et al. Graphene oxide: a nonspecific enhancer of cellular growth. ACS Nano. 2011;5:8100–7.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  15. 15.

    Sun X, Liu Z, Welsher K, Robinson JT, Goodwin A, Zaric S, et al. Nano-graphene oxide for cellular imaging and drug delivery. Nano Res. 2008;1:203–12.

  16. 16.

    Knowledge Industry Information Service R&D Information Center. Carbon/Metal Materials Industry Technology Development Analysis-Carbon·CNT/Graphene/SIC/Lightweight·Sparse Metal. 2021.

  17. 17.

    Novoselov KS, Geim AK, Morozov SV, Jiang D, Zhang Y, Dubonos SV, et al. Electric field effect in atomically thin carbon filmes. Science. 2004;306:666–9.

  18. 18.

    Marcano DC, Kosynkin DV, Berlin JM, Sinitskii A, Sun Z, Slesarev A, et al. Improved synthesis of graphene oxide. ACS Nano. 2010;4:4806–14.

  19. 19.

    Dreyer DR, Park S, Bielawski CW, Ruoff RS. The chemistry of graphene oxide. Chem Soc Rev. 2010;39:228–40.

  20. 20.

    Pei SF, Cheng HM. The reduction of graphene oxide. Carbon. 2012;50:3210–28.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  21. 21.

    Georgakilas V, Tiwari JN, Kemp KC, Perman JA, Bourlinos AB, Kim KS, et al. Noncovalent functionalization of graphene and graphene oxide for energy materials, biosensing, catalytic, and biomedical applications. Chem Rev. 2016;116:5464–519.

  22. 22.

    Chung C, Kim YK, Shin D, Ryoo SR, Hong BH, Min DH. Biomedical applications of graphene and graphene oxide. Acc Chem Res. 2013;46:2211–24.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  23. 23.

    Park J, Lee J, Huh JS, Park DB, Lim JO. Investigation on the polystyrene surface coating method of graphene oxide. J Korean Inst Surf Eng. 2021;51:77–83.

    Google Scholar 

  24. 24.

    Kazemi E, Dadfarnia S, Haji Shabani AM, Abbasi A, Rashidian Vaziri MR, Behjat A. Iron oxide functionalized graphene oxide as an efficient sorbent for dispersive micro-solid phase extraction of sulfadiazine followed by spectrophotometric and mode-mismatched thermal lens spectrometric determination. Talanta. 2016;147:561–8.

  25. 25.

    Wang S, Song J, Li Y, Zhao X, Chen L, Li G, et al. Grafting antibacterial polymer brushes from titanium surface via polydopamine chemistry and activators regenerated by electron transfer ATRP. React Funct Polym. 2019;140:48–55.

  26. 26.

    Young’s Modulus - Tensile and Yield Strength for common Materials. Engineering ToolBox. 2003. Accessed 2003.

  27. 27.

    Mio T, Nagai S, Kitaichi M, Kawatani A, Izumi T. Proliferative characteristics of fibroblast lines derived from open lung biopsy specimens of patients with IPF (UIP). Chest. 1992;102:832–7.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references


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

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Jeong Ok Lim.

Ethics declarations

Conflicts of interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.

Ethical statement

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

Additional information

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

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).

Download citation


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