CVD Graphene Foam – A High Throughput Cell Culture Scaffold Platform

Sep 21, 2023 | Knowledge Center, White Papers

Healthcare and regenerative medicine have been on a crash-course ever since stem cells emerged in 1999 and brought the promise of re-growing, restoring, and/or replacing injured or degenerated tissues. More than two decades have passed, and stem cells have remained somewhat shrouded in their promise – with meaningful engineered tissues proving a challenge to create.

2D Cell Culture – The Status Quo

Generating clinically relevant cell numbers has remained a challenge because a large majority of cell culture has been restricted to 2D models – which face limitations in providing an ideal microenvironment for cell expansion. 2D models have become a “safe” choice for cell culture researchers due to 3D models facing manufacturability issues, and only supporting a limited range of biomaterials that offer suitable characteristics for the biomimicry of the native tissue’s physiological microenvironment.

Scaffolds have a crucial role in enabling the scale-up of 3D cell culture models – and thereby creating a pathway for high-throughput cell expansion across various models and applications. However, many biomaterials (both synthetic and natural) have been investigated as a scaffold with limited degrees of success.

Graphene Scaffolds

Carbon-based scaffolds – most notably graphene – have been investigated due to their bioactivity, biomechanical tunability, and electrical conductivity. However, upon examining the literature on graphene scaffolds, we find that most of the research has focused on graphene oxide (GO) – a derivative of graphene that holds little in common with graphene grown via chemical vapor deposition (CVD). The biocompatibility concerns and relatively poor electrical properties of GO present questions in terms of its applicability across cell culture models.

CVD Graphene Foam – A Solution Hiding in Plain Sight

In our white paper, we present 3D graphene foam synthesized via chemical vapor deposition (CVD) as a possible solution to one of the biggest bottlenecks in cell culture – the need for a high throughput cell expansion platform.

3D graphene foam possess compelling properties – such as specific nanoroughness, interconnected microporosity, electrical conductivity, tunable stiffness, biocompatibility and biodegradability – that make it a unique foundational raw material for cell culture experiments and studies.

While compelling, 3D graphene foam’s investigation as a scaffold biomaterial has been limited compared to GO due to the high cost of procurement, and commercial unavailability in meaningful quantities.

General Graphene has developed chemical vapor deposition (CVD) technology that is capable of mass producing CVD graphene foam at reproducible consistent qualities and at a significantly reduced cost. By offering expertise in CVD graphene mass production, General Graphene offers stem cell researchers and life science companies with a foundational raw material that has demonstrated significant promise in helping advance laboratory cell culture studies towards real-world clinical solutions.

Read our white paper to learn more about the extensive potential of 3D graphene foam in cell culture, and contact us if you are interested in testing our CVD graphene foam for your cell culture studies.