Scientists from the Microelectronics Institute of Barcelona (IMB) of the National Microelectronics Centre (CNM), which belongs to the Spanish Council of Scientific Research (CSIC), developed a device based on nanogenerators for the electrical stimulation of cells without the need for bulky electrodes or instruments. The advancement has applications in bone regeneration in prostheses and rehabilitation of muscular atrophy.
Current research looks for more effective and less invasive technologies in the treatment of bone and muscle injuries. In this case, it is the first time that nanogenerators are used for the electrical stimulation of cells. This is possible thanks to the piezoelectric potential that the nanostructures print on the cell.
“The device generates cellular electrical stimulation, this can have different effects on cells and, among them, therapeutic effects,” said researcher Gonzalo Murillo (IMB-CNM, CSIC), who added that the objective is the biomedical application in cases such as “bone regeneration in prostheses, muscle toning or peripheral electrical stimulation.”
The instrument will allow faster recovery without the use of external electrodes or stimuli, since it autonomously generates energy for cellular electrical activation and stimulates the induction of cell proliferation and differentiation.
Saos ‐ 2 cells are cultured as piezoelectric nanogenerators (NG) based on ZnO nanoparticles for electrical self-stimulation (research by Gonzalo Murillo, Carme Nogués and collaborators). Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images show that the cells are firmly attached to the Nanosheets. The cells show excellent viability, proliferation and differentiation. NGs can be used to electrically self-stimulate different types of cells, such as neurons or muscle cells, without applying external chemical or physical stimulation, leading to future bioelectronic medications based on local electrical impulses directed at the cells.
Source: Agencia ID