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Effective gamma-ray sterilization and characterization of conductive polypyrrole biomaterials

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

  • Semin Kim
  • Jin-Oh Jeong
  • Sanghun Lee
  • Jong-Seok Park
  • Hui-Jeong Gwon
  • Sung In Jeong
  • John George Hardy
  • Youn-Mook Lim
  • Jae Lee
Article number3721
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>27/02/2018
<mark>Journal</mark>Scientific Reports
Number of pages10
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Conductive polymers, including polypyrrole (PPy), have been extensively explored to fabricate electrically conductive biomaterials for bioelectrodes and tissue engineering scaffolds. For their in vivo uses, a sterilization method without severe impairment of original material properties and performance is necessary. Gamma-ray radiation has been commonly applied for sterilization of medical products because of its simple and uniform sterilization without heat generation. Herein we describe the first study on gamma-ray sterilization of PPy bioelectrodes and its effects on their characteristics. We irradiated PPy bioelectrodes with different doses (0–75 kGy) of gamma-rays. Gamma-ray irradiation of the PPy (γ-PPy) increased the oxygenation and hydrophilicity of the surfaces. Interestingly, gamma-ray irradiation did not alter the electrical impedances and conductivities of the PPy substrates. Additionally, γ-PPy prepared with various dopants (e.g., para-toluene sulfonate, polystyrene sulfonate, and chlorine) showed the electrochemical properties similar to the non-irradiated control. Gamma-ray irradiation at doses of ≥15 kGy was required for effective sterilization as evidenced by complete eradication of gram positive and negative bacteria. γ-PPy substrates also showed cytocompatibility similar to untreated control PPy, indicating no substantial alteration of cytocompatibility. In conclusion, gamma ray sterilization is a viable method of sterilization of conducting polymer-based biomaterials for biomedical applications.