Title: Enhanced Osteogenic Differentiation of Stem Cells on Phase-Engineered Graphene Oxide
Authors: Jia-Wei Yang, Kuan Yu Hsieh, Priyank V. Kumar, Sheng-Jen Cheng, You-Rong Lin, Yu-Chih Shen and Guan-Yu Chen*
Graphene oxide (GO) has attracted significant interest as a template material for multiple applications due to its two-dimensional nature and established functionalization chemistries. However, for applications toward stem cell culture and differentiation, GO is often reduced to form reduced graphene oxide, resulting in a loss of oxygen content. Here, we induce a phase transformation in GO and demonstrate its benefits for enhanced stem cell culture and differentiation, while conserving the oxygen content. The transformation results in clustering of oxygen atoms on the GO surface, which greatly improves its ability toward substance adherence and results in enhanced differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cell (hMSCs) towards the osteogenic lineage. Moreover, the conjugating ability of modified GO strengthened, which was examined by auxiliary osteogenic growth peptide conjugation. Overall, our work demonstrates GO’s potential for stem cell applications, while maintaining its oxygen content, which could be enable further functionalization and fabrication of novel nano-bio interfaces.