Publication Details

Zhang, B., Molino, P. J., Harris, A. R., Yue, Z., Moulton, S. E. & Wallace, G. G. (2016). Conductive and protein resistant polypyrrole films for dexamethasone delivery. Journal of Materials Chemistry B, 4 (15), 2570-2577.


The development of inherently conducting polymers as controllable/programmable drug delivery systems has attracted significant interest in medical bionics, and the interfacial properties of the polymers, in particular, protein adsorption characteristics, is integral to the stability of the overall performance. Herein we report a hybrid conducting system based on polypyrrole doped with an anti-inflammatory prodrug, dexamethasone phosphate (DexP), upon which post-surface modification was conducted to render the polymer more biostable. We firstly investigated the influence of the current density and DexP concentration on the physiochemical properties and surface characteristics of the resulting polymer films. Films were then surface modified with thiolated poly(ethylene glycol). The influence of surface modification on inhibition of nonspecific protein adsorption to the polymer surfaces was evaluated using electrochemistry and quartz crystal microbalance. Furthermore, studies were undertaken to examine the effect of surface coatings on the drug release behaviour triggered by electrical stimulation. Our results demonstrated that both the physiochemical and interfacial properties of conducting polymers can be modulated to enhance the performance of the materials as biocompatible drug delivery systems. This provides important insight into molecular engineering of conducting polymers to facilitate their applications in medical bionics.

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