Ultra-low voltage triggered release of an anti-cancer drug from polypyrrole nanoparticles†
We have synthesized polypyrrole nanoparticles using three different oxidizing agents (hydrogen peroxide, chloroauric acid and ferric chloride) and shown that films assembled from these nanoparticles have significantly different drug release profiles. When ferric chloride is used as the oxidizing agent, it is possible to release drugs at voltages as low as −0.05 V, almost an order of magnitude lower than typically used voltages. These ultra-low voltage responsive nanoparticles widen the window of operation of conducting polymers and enable delivery of redox active drugs. As an example, we have shown pulsed release of the chemotherapeutic methotrexate at voltages as low as −0.075 V, demonstrating the potential application of these nanoparticles in cancer treatment. We have also verified the anti-tumor efficacy of the released drug using PC12 cell cultures.