Two-Dimensional Black Phosphorus and Graphene Oxide Nanosheets Synergistically Enhance Cell Proliferation and Osteogenesis on 3D Printed Scaffolds

Xifeng Liu, A. Lee Miller, Sungjo Park, Matthew N. George, Brian E. Waletzki, Haocheng Xu, Andre Terzic, Lichun Lu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Two-dimensional (2D) materials have emerged as a new promising research topic for tissue engineering because of their ability to alter the surface properties of tissue scaffolds and thus improve their biocompatibility and cell affinity. Multiple 2D materials, such as graphene and graphene oxide (GO), have been widely reported to enhance cell adhesion and proliferation. Recently, a newly emerged black phosphorus (BP) 2D material has attracted attention in biomedical applications because of its unique mechanical and electrochemical characteristics. In this study, we investigated the synergistic effect of these two types of 2D materials on cell osteogenesis for bone tissue engineering. BP was first wrapped in negatively charged GO nanosheets, which were then adsorbed together onto positively charged poly(propylene fumarate) three-dimensional (3D) scaffolds. The increased surface area provided by GO nanosheets would enhance cell attachment at the initial stage. In addition, slow oxidation of BP nanosheets wrapped within GO layers would generate a continuous release of phosphate, an important osteoblast differentiation facilitator designed to stimulate cell osteogenesis toward the new bone formation. Through the use of 3D confocal imaging, unique interactions between cells and BP nanosheets were observed, including a stretched cell shape and the development of filaments around the BP nanosheets, along with increased cell proliferation when compared with scaffolds incorporating only one of the 2D materials. Furthermore, the biomineralization of 3D scaffolds, as well as cellular osteogenic markers, was all measured and improved on scaffolds with both BP and GO nanosheets. All these results indicate that the incorporation of 2D BP and GO materials could effectively and synergistically stimulate cell proliferation and osteogenesis on 3D tissue scaffolds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23558-23572
Number of pages15
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number26
StatePublished - Jul 3 2019


  • 2D materials
  • 3D printing
  • black phosphorus
  • graphene oxide
  • osteogenesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)


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