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Liquid Crystal Elastomers—A Path to Biocompatible and Biodegradable 3D-LCE Scaffolds for Tissue Regeneration

1
Liquid Crystal Institute, Kent State University, Kent, OH 44242, USA
2
Chemical Physics Interdisciplinary Program (CPIP), Kent State University, Kent, OH 44242, USA
3
Department of Biological Sciences, Kent State University, Kent, OH 44242, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Materials 2018, 11(3), 377; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma11030377
Received: 2 February 2018 / Revised: 21 February 2018 / Accepted: 23 February 2018 / Published: 3 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Liquid Crystal-Assisted Advanced Functional Materials)
The development of appropriate materials that can make breakthroughs in tissue engineering has long been pursued by the scientific community. Several types of material have been long tested and re-designed for this purpose. At the same time, liquid crystals (LCs) have captivated the scientific community since their discovery in 1888 and soon after were thought to be, in combination with polymers, artificial muscles. Within the past decade liquid crystal elastomers (LCE) have been attracting increasing interest for their use as smart advanced materials for biological applications. Here, we examine how LCEs can potentially be used as dynamic substrates for culturing cells, moving away from the classical two-dimensional cell-culture nature. We also briefly discuss the integration of a few technologies for the preparation of more sophisticated LCE-composite scaffolds for more dynamic biomaterials. The anisotropic properties of LCEs can be used not only to promote cell attachment and the proliferation of cells, but also to promote cell alignment under LCE-stimulated deformation. 3D LCEs are ideal materials for new insights to simulate and study the development of tissues and the complex interplay between cells. View Full-Text
Keywords: liquid crystals; liquid crystal elastomer; 3D scaffold; biocompatible; biodegradable; tissue engineering; cell alignment; cell proliferation; cell directionality; biomechanics liquid crystals; liquid crystal elastomer; 3D scaffold; biocompatible; biodegradable; tissue engineering; cell alignment; cell proliferation; cell directionality; biomechanics
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Prévôt, M.E.; Ustunel, S.; Hegmann, E. Liquid Crystal Elastomers—A Path to Biocompatible and Biodegradable 3D-LCE Scaffolds for Tissue Regeneration. Materials 2018, 11, 377.

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