Chondroitin/polypyrrole nanocomposite hydrogels for the accurate release of 5-fluorouracil by electrical stimulation

Génesis Adilene Grijalva Bustamante, Brianda María Salazar Salas, María Mónica Castillo Ortega, José Carmelo Encinas, Dora Evelia Rodríguez Félix, Lerma Hanaiy Chan-Chan, Rosa Elena Navarro Gautrín, Jorge Romero García, Teresa del Castillo Castro*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The development of electro-stimulated drug release devices is an innovative approach to attain the drug delivery in accurate doses at target sites in a programmed manner. In this work, novel electroactive nanocomposite hydrogels were prepared by encapsulating green-synthesized polypyrrole (PPy) colloids within chondroitin sulfate (CS) networks during the self-crosslinking of CS via N-ethyl-N′-(3-dimethylaminopropyl) carbodiimide chemistry. The structural and morphological properties of CS/PPy hydrogels were studied by Fourier-transformed infrared spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy, and swelling kinetic measurements. The chemotherapeutic agent 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) was loaded into CS/PPy samples by hydrogel swelling method, or alternatively, by pre-incubating the drug in polymer mixture before crosslinking. Different electrical stimulations can be used to switch ON and accurately tune the 5-FU delivery from GG/PPy hydrogels. A single pulse potential of 5 V switched on the drug delivery up to 90% from nanocomposite hydrogel, in contrast to the low 5-FU amount released in a passive form (< 20%). PPy electroactive behavior played a determining role as the main driving force in 5-FU release activation. Cytotoxicity of hydrogels with and without 5-FU was examined in normal and cancer cells. Considering the high cytotoxicity of 5-FU, the ON/OFF 5-FU release patterns evidenced the potential of CS/PPy hydrogels for electrically controlled drug delivery in implantable or transdermal drug release devices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)621-633
Number of pages13
JournalPolymers for Advanced Technologies
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2023

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© 2022 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


  • 5-fluorouracil
  • chondroitin sulfate
  • electrically controlled drug release
  • electroactive hydrogels
  • polypyrrole


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