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Electrochemically Enhanced Delivery of Pemetrexed from Electroactive Hydrogels

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

Article number4953
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>16/11/2022
Issue number22
Number of pages19
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Electroactive hydrogels based on derivatives of polyethyleneglycol (PEG), chitosan and polypyrrole were prepared via a combination of photopolymerization and oxidative chemical polymerization, and optionally doped with anions (e.g., lignin, drugs, etc.). The products were analyzed with a variety of techniques, including: FT-IR, UV-Vis, 1H NMR (solution state), 13C NMR (solid state), XRD, TGA, SEM, swelling ratios and rheology. The conductive gels swell ca. 8 times less than the non-conductive gels due to the presence of the interpenetrating network (IPN) of polypyrrole and lignin. A rheological study showed that the non-conductive gels are soft (G′ 0.35 kPa, G″ 0.02 kPa) with properties analogous to brain tissue, whereas the conductive gels are significantly stronger (G′ 30 kPa, G″ 19 kPa) analogous to breast tissue due to the presence of the IPN of polypyrrole and lignin. The potential of these biomaterials to be used for biomedical applications was validated in vitro by cell culture studies (assessing adhesion and proliferation of fibroblasts) and drug delivery studies (electrochemically loading the FDA-approved chemotherapeutic pemetrexed and measuring passive and stimulated release); indeed, the application of electrical stimulus enhanced the release of PEM from gels by ca. 10–15% relative to the passive release control experiment for each application of electrical stimulation over a short period analogous to the duration of stimulation applied for electrochemotherapy. It is foreseeable that such materials could be integrated in electrochemotherapeutic medical devices, e.g., electrode arrays or plates currently used in the clinic.