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- PublicationGraphene oxide modulates inter-particle interactions in 3D printable soft nanocomposite hydrogels restoring magnetic hyperthermia responsesHydrogels loaded with magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles that can be patterned and which controllably induce hyperthermic responses on AC-field stimulation are of interest as functional components of next-generation biomaterials. Formation of nanocomposite hydrogels is known to eliminate any Brownian contribution to hyperthermic response (reducing stimulated heating) while the Néel contribution can also be suppressed by inter-particle dipolar interactions arising from aggregation induced before or during gelation. We describe the ability of graphene oxide (GO) flakes to restore the hyperthermic efficiency of soft printable hydrogels formed using Pluronics F127 and PEGylated magnetic nanoflowers. Here, by varying the amount of GO in mixed nanocomposite suspensions and gels, we demonstrate GO-content dependent recovery of hyperthemic response in gels. This is due to progressively reduced inter-nanoflower interactions mediated by GO, which largely restore the dispersed-state Néel contribution to heating. We suggest that preferential association of GO with the hydrophobic F127 blocks increases the preponderance of cohesive interactions between the hydrophilic blocks and the PEGylated nanoflowers, promoting dispersion of the latter. Finally we demonstrate extrusion-based 3D printing with excellent print fidelity of the magnetically-responsive nanocomposites, for which the inclusion of GO provides significant improvement in the spatially-localized open-coil heating response, rendering the prints viable components for future cell stimulation and delivery applications.
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