Conducting pyrolysed carbon scaffolds for cell replacement therapy and energy applications

    Research output: Book/ReportPh.D. thesisResearch

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    Abstract

    Combining a conductive material with a transparent material allows creating a device with integrated functions that takes advantage of both properties. Such an optoelectrical device can function as substrate for the attachment of biological samples, as actuator for specific functions of the biological samples and as sensor to monitor the triggered responses.
    Carbon is a widely used electrode material due to its numerous advantages (electrochemical properties, price, stability, biocompatibility and versatility for fabrication). Additionally, glass-like carbon fabricated through the pyrolysis of SU-8 has been shown to enhance stem cell differentiation into dopaminergic neurons. Due to these properties, carbon was chosen as the conductive material for the development of optoelectrical devices.
    Quartz is transparent in the UV and visible range. It is thermally resistant up to 1600°C, chemically inert, hard, durable and non-porous. These properties make it ideal as the transparent component in the development of optoelectrical devices.
    The aim of this work is to contribute to the development of optoelectrical devices for applications in two different fields: 1) the treatment of Parkinson’s disease and 2) energy harvesting from photosynthetic organisms. During the duration of this PhD project, the optoelectrical devices designed in the group have moved from an idea to the proof-of-concept stage.
    The experimental work performed as part of this thesis combined cleanroom fabrication, pyrolysis, characterisation of the fabricated structures, and biological applications. The work aimed at Parkinson’s disease has focused on the differentiation of stem cells into dopaminergic neurons and analysing the ability to release dopamine of the neurons generated by culturing on carbon electrodes. The work aimed at applications in biophotovoltaics has explored energy harvesting from thylakoid membranes as photosynthetic systems residing on patterned carbon electrodes for generating electrical power.
    Original languageEnglish
    PublisherDTU Nanotech
    Number of pages196
    Publication statusPublished - 2017

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