Nerve tissue engineering requires suitable precursor cells as well as the necessary biochemical and physical cues to guide neurite extension and tissue development. An ideal scaffold for neural regeneration would be both fibrous and electrically conductive. We have contrasted the growth and neural differentiation of mouse embryonic stem cells on three different aligned nanofiber scaffolds composed of poly l-lactic acid supplemented with either single- or multi-walled carbon-nanotubes. The addition of the nanotubes conferred conductivity to the nanofibers and promoted mESC neural differentiation as evidenced by an increased mature neuronal markers expression. We propose that the conductive scaffold could be a useful tool for the generation of neural tissue mimics in vitro and potentially as a scaffold for the repair of neural defects in vivo. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
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