Modulation of Differentiation of Embryonic Stem Cells by Polypyrrole: The Impact on Neurogenesis

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The active role of biomaterials in the regeneration of tissues and their ability to modulate the behavior of stem cells in terms of their differentiation is highly advantageous. Here, polypyrrole, as a representantive of electro-conducting materials, is found to modulate the behavior of embryonic stem cells. Concretely, the aqueous extracts of polypyrrole induce neurogenesis within embryonic bodies formed from embryonic stem cells.

This finding led to an effort to determine the physiological cascade which is responsible for this effect. The polypyrrole modulates signaling pathways of Akt and ERK kinase through their phosphorylation. These effects are related to the presence of low-molecular-weight compounds present in aqueous polypyrrole extracts, determined by mass spectroscopy.

The results show that consequences related to the modulation of stem cell differentiation must also be taken into account when polypyrrole is considered as a biomaterial.


Kateřina Skopalová1, Katarzyna Anna Radaszkiewicz2, Věra Kašpárková1,3, Jaroslav Stejskal4, Patrycja Bober4, Ita Junkar5, Miran Mozetič5, Zdenka Capáková1, Marián Lehocký1,3, Martina Kašparová1, Jiří Pacherník2, and Petr Humpolíček1,3


1 Centre of Polymer Systems, Tomas Bata University in Zlín, 760 01 Zlín, Czech Republic

2 Department of Experimental Biology, Faculty of Science, Masaryk University, 625 00 Brno, Czech Republic

3 Faculty of Technology, Tomas Bata University in Zlín, 760 01 Zlín, Czech Republic

4 Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, 162 06 Prague, Czech Republic

5 Department of Surface Engineering, Jožef Stefan Institute, Jamova cesta 39, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia