Graphene and its derivatives have seen a rapid rise in interest as promising biomaterials especially in the field of tissue engineering, regenerative medicine, and cell biology of late. Despite its proven potential in numerous biological applications, information regarding the relationship between the different forms of graphene and cell lineages is still lacking partly due to its topical emergence in cellular studies. Herein, we explore the biocompatibility of four types of graphene substrates (chemical vapor deposition grown graphene, mechanically exfoliated graphene, chemically exfoliated graphene oxide, and reduced graphene oxide) with three types of somatic cells (keratinocytes, hepatocytes, endothelial cells) derived from the three germ layers in relation to cell adhesion, proliferation, morphology, and gene expression. The results revealed exceptional cell adhesion for all tested groups but enhanced proliferation and cytoskeletal interconnectivity in graphene oxide and reduced graphene oxide substrates. We were unable to detect any adverse effects in gene expression and survivability during a week of culture. We further show topographic changes to graphene substrates under fetal bovine serum adsorption to better illustrate the actual microenvironment of inhabitant cells. This study highlights the extraordinary synergy between graphene and somatic cells, suggesting the discretionary use of extracellular matrix components for in vitro cultivation.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grants from the Ministry of Science, ICT (No. 2015-M3A9C7030091 ); the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education (No. 2018R1D1A1B07045581 ); the grant (No. 2017001982 ) from the Institute for Information and Communications Technology Promotion (IITP); the grant ( 71500307 ) from the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs , Korea; and the KU Research Professor Program of Konkuk University .
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Materials Science
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Mechanics of Materials
- Mechanical Engineering