Surface properties and electrical charges are critical factors elucidating cell interactions on biomaterial surfaces. The surface potential distribution and the nanoscopic and microscopic surface elasticity of organic polypyrrole–hyaluronic acid (PPy-HA) were studied by atomic force microscopy (AFM) in a fluid environment in order to explain the observed enhancement in the attachment of human adipose stem cells on positively charged PPy-HA films. The electrostatic force between the AFM tip and a charged PPy-HA surface, the tip–sample adhesion force, and elastic moduli were estimated from the AFM force curves, and the data were fitted to electrostatic double-layer and elastic contact models. The surface potential of the charged and dried PPy-HA films was assessed with Kelvin probe force microscopy (KPFM), and the KPFM data were correlated to the fluid AFM data. The surface charge distribution and elasticity were both found to correlate well with the nodular morphology of PPy-HA and to be sensitive to the electrochemical charging conditions. Furthermore, a significant change in the adhesion was detected when the surface was electrochemically charged positive. The results highlight the potential of positively charged PPy-HA as a coating material to enhance the stem cell response in tissue-engineering scaffolds.
Pelto, J., Haimi, S. P., Silander, A., Miettinen, S. S., Tappura, K., Higgins, M. J., & Wallace, G. G. (2013). Surface properties and interaction forces of biopolymer-doped conductive polypyrrole surfaces by atomic force microscopy. Langmuir, 29(20), 6099-6108. https://doi.org/10.1021/la4009366