Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
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Collagen/pristine graphene as an electroconductive interface material for neuronal medical device applications

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journal contribution
posted on 2022-11-17, 13:56 authored by Jack Maughan, Pedro Jose Gouveia, Javier Gutierrez Gonzalez, Liam LeahyLiam Leahy, Ian WoodsIan Woods, Cian O'Connor, Tara McGuireTara McGuire, James R. Garcia, Donagh O'SheaDonagh O'Shea, Sarah F. McComish, Oran KennedyOran Kennedy, Maeve A. Caldwell, Adrian DervanAdrian Dervan, Jonathan N. Coleman, Fergal O'BrienFergal O'Brien
The growing clinical demand for electrical stimulation-based therapies requires the development of novel conductive biomaterials that balance conductivity, biocompatibility, and mechanical performance. Traditional conductive materials often induce scarring, due to their stiffness and poor biocompatibility, presenting challenges to their clinical translation. To address these issues, we report the development of an electroconductive pristine graphene-based (pG) composite material for central nervous system applications, consisting of type I collagen loaded with 60 wt% pG to yield conductivities (∼1.5 S/m) necessary for efficient electrical stimulation. Neurons and glial cells grown on composite films exhibited robust growth, and glial cells exhibited no change in inflammatory markers. Electrical stimulation of primary neurons on the composite enhanced neurite outgrowth, cellular viability and morphology compared to collagen controls. Finally, we demonstrated the versatility and potential applications of the composite material for neuronal medical device applications by fabricating a range of conductive, neural-interfacing structures, including porous scaffolds, microneedle arrays, and 3D-printed circuits for bioelectronics. These results show that CpG composites form a versatile neurotrophic platform that balances biocompatibility and physiologically relevant conductivity with robust mechanical properties that allow for the production of a range of next-generation neuroprosthetic devices.


Advanced Synovial Microneedle Technology for Drug Delivery to Prevent Post Traumatic Osteoarthritis | Funder: Anatomical Society | Grant ID: AS-OK-2021

Science Foundation Ireland AMBER Centre (SFI/12/RC/2278_P2)

IRFU Charitable Trust

Irish Research Council Postgraduate Fellowship program (GOIPD/2021/262)



The original article is available at

Published Citation

Maughan J, et al. Collagen/pristine graphene as an electroconductive interface material for neuronal medical device applications. Applied Materials Today. 2022: 29:101629

Publication Date

26 August 2022


  • Amber (Advanced Material & Bioengineering Research) Centre
  • Anatomy and Regenerative Medicine
  • Tissue Engineering Research Group (TERG)

Research Area

  • Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Biomaterials and Regenerative Medicine
  • Immunity, Infection and Inflammation


Elsevier BV


  • Published Version (Version of Record)