In this study, we designed, synthesized, and characterized ultrahigh purity single-walled carbon nanotube (SWCNT)-alginate hydrogel composites. Among the parameters of importance in the formation of an alginate-based hydrogel composite with single-walled carbon nanotubes, are their varying degrees of purity, their particulate agglomeration and their dose-dependent correlation to cell viability, all of which have an impact on the resultant composite’s efficiency and effectiveness towards cell-therapy. To promote their homogenous dispersion by preventing agglomeration of the SWCNT, three different surfactants-sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS-anionic), cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB-cationic), and Pluronic F108 (nonionic)-were utilized. After mixing of the SWCNT-surfactant with alginate, the mixtures were cross-linked using divalent calcium ions and characterized using Raman spectroscopy. Rheometric analysis showed an increase in complex viscosity, loss, and storage moduli of the SWCNT composite gels in comparison with pure alginate gels. Scanning electron microscopy revealed the presence of a well-distributed porous structure, and all SWCNT-gel composites depicted enhanced electrical conductivity with respect to alginate gels. To characterize their biocompatibility, cardiomyocytes were cultured atop these SWCNT-gels. Results comprehensively implied that Pluronic F108 was most efficient in preventing agglomeration of the SWCNTs in the alginate matrix, leading to a stable scaffold formation without posing any toxicity to the cells.
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