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Biofunctional core-shell polypyrrole–polyethylenimine nanocomplex for a locally sustained photothermal with reactive oxygen species enhanced therapeutic effect against lung cancer

Authors Chiang CW, Chuang EY

Received 21 January 2018

Accepted for publication 25 May 2018

Published 28 February 2019 Volume 2019:14 Pages 1575—1585

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJN.S163299

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Farooq Shiekh

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Dr Linlin Sun


Chih-Wei Chiang,1,2 Er-Yuan Chuang3

1Graduate Institute of Biomedical Electronics and Bioinformatics, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan; 2Bone and Joint Research Center, Department of Orthopedics, Taipei Medical University Hospital, School of Medicine, College of Medicine, Taipei Medical University, Taipei, Taiwan; 3Graduate Institute of Biomedical Materials and Tissue Engineering, Taipei Medical University and International Ph.D. Program in Biomedical Engineering College of Biomedical Engineering, Taipei Medical University, Taipei, Taiwan

Background: Polymeric delivery systems have been elucidated over the last few years as an approach of achieving high therapeutic effect to the local site of malignant disease patients who have cancer. Polypyrrole (Ppy) is a potential organic conducting polymer which has long been recognized as a versatile material due to its excellent stability, conductive properties, and great absorbance in the range of near-infrared (NIR). It is tremendously versatile for use in various biomedical fields such as cancer therapy. NIR irradiation-activated treatment platform technologies are now being considered to be novel and exciting options in potential nanomedicine. However, the realistic photothermal use of Ppy-applied nanomaterials is yet in its early phase, and there are a few disadvantages of Ppy, such as its water insolubility. In the clinic, the common approach for treatment of lung cancer is the delivery of therapeutic active substances through intratumoral administration. Nevertheless, the tumor uptake, regional retention, mechanism of treatment, and tissue organ penetration regarding the developed strategy of this nanomaterial with photothermal hyperthermia are important issues for exerting effective cancer therapy.
Materials and methods: In this study, we developed a cationic Ppy–polyethylenimine nanocomplex (NC) with photothermal hyperthermia to study its physicochemical characteristics, including size distribution, zeta potential, and transmission electron microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, and Fourier transform infrared morphology. We also examined the cellular uptake effect on lung cancer cells, the photothermal properties, intracellularly generated reactive oxygen species (ROS), and cytotoxicity.
Results: The results suggested that this nanocarrier system was able to effectively attach onto lung cancer cells for subsequent endocytosis. The NCs taken up were able to absorb NIR and then converted the NIR light into local hyperthermia with its intracellular photothermal performance to provide local hyperthermic treatment. This regionally generated hyperthermia also induced ROS formation and improved the killing of lung cancer cells as a promising local photothermal therapy.
Conclusion: This development of a nanocarrier would bring a novel therapeutic strategy for lung cancer in the future.

Keywords: polypyrrole, photothermal, lung cancer therapy, nanomaterial, near-infrared


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