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Polyaniline Coated Electrodes for Cell Growth Stimulation

Life Sciences
College of Arts & Sciences
Epstein, Arthur
Feinberg, Stephen
Hansford, Derek
Yang, Yanyin
Licensing Manager
Hong, Dongsung

T2005-065 Spatially modulated electrodes for the application of known quantitative and site specific electromagnetic fields to enhance cell and tissue regeneration

The Need

In the event of a bone fracture, cells, such as mesenchymal cells and fibroblasts, are activated to support vascular ingrowth and begin the healing process (Medscape). If the fractured bone is not stable or has an inadequate blood supply, a nonunion can form. Of the 7.9 million fracture patients in the United States each year, approximately 10% will experience a nonunion or delayed union (Indian Journal of Orthopedics). Often times, bone grafts are used to stimulate cell growth when external stimuli are unable to promote healing. This requires a painful procedure to harvest bone tissue from the iliac crest of the patient and can lead to donor site morbidity (Palmer W1, Crawford-Sykes A, Rose RE). Additionally, not all patients are eligible for this procedure. To successfully treat all patients with a delayed union or nonunion without the pain associated with an autologous bone graft, a more effective method of stimulating cell growth is needed. The treatment for other diseases involving organ failure such as diabetes and heart disease can also be improved by technology stimulating cell growth.

    The Technology

    The Ohio State University researchers, led by Dr. Arthur Epstein, developed spatially modulated electrodes for the application of known quantitative and site specific electromagnetic fields to enhance cell and tissue regeneration. This technology is ideal for a variety of applications because it is biodegradable and promotes angiogenesis. Additionally, the conductive polymer improves hemocompatibility and has high conductivity. These properties allow for the effective use of the device in vivo to elicit vascular growth and tissue formation. The sulfonated polyaniline polymer device offers a unique way to study cellular activity and is ideal for applications involving the growth of cells such as regenerative medicine.

    Commercial Applications

    • Biomedical research
    • Regenerative medicine
    • Therapeutics


    • Can replace platinum electrodes for bone cell regrowth resulting in lower costs ($60 per gram) and a more flexible design
    • Biodegradable:
      • Implanted inside human body
      • Second surgery not necessary
    • Promotes angiogenesis
    • Compared to other conductive polymers this polymer improves hemocompatibility, has higher conductivity, has a higher quality polymer film, and does not involve any harmful solvents