Theranostics 2020; 10(5):2047-2066. doi:10.7150/thno.38876 This issue

Research Paper

Mussel-inspired conductive Ti2C-cryogel promotes functional maturation of cardiomyocytes and enhances repair of myocardial infarction

Genlan Ye1,3#, Zubiao Wen2#, Feng Wen1, Xiaoping Song1, Leyu Wang1, Chuangkun Li1, Yutong He1,3, Sugandha Prakash1, Xiaozhong Qiu1✉

1. Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Construction and Detection in Tissue Engineering, School of Basic Medical Science, Biomaterials Research Center, School of Biomedical Engineering, Southern Medical University, Guangdong, Guangzhou 510515, China
2. College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Jiangxi Normal University, Nanchang 330022, China
3. Guangzhou Regenerative Medicine and Health Guangdong Laboratory, Guangzhou 510005, China
# These authors contributed equally to this work.

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( See for full terms and conditions.
Ye G, Wen Z, Wen F, Song X, Wang L, Li C, He Y, Prakash S, Qiu X. Mussel-inspired conductive Ti2C-cryogel promotes functional maturation of cardiomyocytes and enhances repair of myocardial infarction. Theranostics 2020; 10(5):2047-2066. doi:10.7150/thno.38876. Available from

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Graphic abstract

Rationale: Researches on conductive engineering cardiac patch (ECP) for myocardial infarction (MI) treatment have achieved some progress in the animal while the availability of traditional conductive materials in ECP is still limited because of their controversial cytotoxicity. Here we aim to introduce a novel hydrophilic biocompatible conductive material: MXene Ti2C and mussel-inspired dopamine into PEGDA-GelMA cryogel to construct a bio-functional ECP of which the property closes to natural heart for the repair of MI.

Method: MXene Ti2C was etched from MAX Ti2AlC, then uniformly dispersed into the prepolymer composed with dopamine-N′, N′-methylene-bisacrylamide, methacrylate-gelatin, and poly (ethylene glycol) diacrylate by simple water bath sonication. The resilient conductive Ti2C-cryogel was fabricated by chemical cryogelation. The conductive ECP was evaluated in vitro and transplanted to the MI rat model for MI treatment.

Results: In vitro, the 3D vessels-shape framework was observed in Ti2C-8-cryogel which was seeded with rats aortic endothelial cells. When the Ti2C-cryogels were cocultured with CMs, remarkably aligned sarcomere and the primitive intercalated disc between the mature CMs were formed on day 7. The as-prepared Ti2C-8-cryogel ECP also demonstrated rapid calcium transients and synchronous tissue-like beating. When transplanted into the infarcted heart of the MI rat model, the Ti2C-8-cryogel ECP could improve the cardiac function, reduce the infarct size, and inhibit the inflammatory response. Obvious vasculation especially newly formed arteriole was also found.

Conclusion: A novel conductive Ti2C-embedded cardiac patch with suitable conductivity and the mechanical property was developed and could be served as an ideal candidate for MI repair.

Keywords: MXene Ti2C, dopamine, conductive cryogels, vasculation, myocardial infarction