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Electrical stimulation (ES) or electroconductive scaffold has been proved to have the positive effects on the behavior of neural stem cells (NSCs). We previously developed a novel three-dimensional conductive composite scaffold of poly (3, 4-ethylenedioxythiophen)/chitosan/gelatin (PEDOT/Cs/Gel) for neural tissue engineering. In the present study, we further studied the effect of three-dimensional conductive scaffolds combined with ES on the neuronal differentiation of NSCs. The sandwiched ES device was designed to apply single-phase pulse voltage on NSCs cultured in conductive scaffold for 7 days (4 h/day). Proliferation and differentiation related proteins and genes were analyzed by immunofluorescence staining and RT-qPCR. The role of voltage-gated ion channels (VGICs) in regulating NSCs' neuronal differentiation by ES was investigated in presence of ion channels blockers. The results of protein and gene expression indicated that ES not only promoted the proliferation of NSCs cultured in the conductive scaffold, but also enhanced the differentiation of NSCs into neurons. Especially, the voltage-gated calcium channel (Cav2+) played an important role in the neuronal differentiation of NSCs under ES. Our findings demonstrated that ES combined with three-dimensional conductive scaffolds would be a promising strategy to regulate the neuronal differentiation of NSCs for neural regeneration. Copyright © 2022 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Shuping Wang, Shui Guan, Changkai Sun, Hailong Liu, Tianqing Liu, Xuehu Ma. Electrical stimulation enhances the neuronal differentiation of neural stem cells in three-dimensional conductive scaffolds through the voltage-gated calcium ion channel. Brain research. 2023 Jan 01;1798:148163

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PMID: 36379314

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