Cardiomyocyte differentiation of embryonic stem cells on the surface of organic semiconductors

Sergio Caserta, Mario Barra, Genesia Manganelli, Giovanna Tomaiuolo, Stefania Filosa, Antonio Cassinese, Stefano Guido

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Electrically active supports provide new horizons for bio-sensing and artificial organ design. Cell-based electrochemical biosensors can be used as bio-microactuators, applied to the biorobotics. Microchip-based bioassay systems can provide real-time cell analysis for preclinical drug design or for intelligent drug delivery devices. In regenerative medicine, electrically active supports can be used as bio-reactors to monitor cell activity, optimize the stem cell differentiation and control cell and tissue morphology. Biocompatibility and direct interaction of the electrically active surface with the cell surface is a critical aspect of this technology. Methods: In this work embryonic stem cells (AK7 ES) have been cultivated on the surface of thin films achieved through the evaporation of two aromatic compounds (T6 and PDI-8CN2) of particular interest for the fabrication of organic field-effect transistors (OFET). One of the potential advantages offered by the application of OFETs as bio-electronic supports is that they represent a powerful tool for the detection of bio-signals because their electrically active surface is an organic film. Results: The cell morphology on T6 and PDI-8CN2 surface shows to be similar to the usual cell appearance, as obtained when standard culture support (petri dish) are employed. Moreover, our experimental results demonstrate that stem cells can be lead to differentiation up to "beating" cardiomyocytes even on these electrically-active organic films. Conclusions: This investigation encourages the perspective to develop OFET-based biosensors in order to accurately characterize stem cells during the cardiac differentiation process and eventually increase their differentiation efficiency.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)426-433
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Artificial Organs
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013


  • Bio-electronics
  • Biocompatibility
  • Organic films
  • Semiconductors
  • Stem cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Bioengineering
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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