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J Control Release. 2006 Dec 1;116(3):285-94. Epub 2006 Sep 29.

Optimising the incorporation and release of a neurotrophic factor using conducting polypyrrole.

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  • 1ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science, University of Wollongong, Northfields Avenue, Wollongong, NSW 2522, Australia.


In this study, a neurotrophin delivery system based on an inherently conducting polymer (ICP) has been developed. Direct incorporation of neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) was investigated and controlled release was tested under various electrochemical conditions. The loading capacity and amount of NT-3 released from the polymer was determined using (125)I-labelled NT-3. Electrochemical stimulation of polypyrrole by pulsed voltage, pulsed current or cyclic voltammetry promoted the release of NT-3 at a greater rate than natural diffusion of NT-3. NT-3 was released from polypyrrole as an initial burst in the first 24 h followed by prolonged release over a subsequent 6 days of sampling. The amount of NT-3 incorporated into the polymer could be controlled by varying the polymerisation time, with longer growth periods incorporating more NT-3. The NT-3 release results indicated that the polymers grown for longer released a lower percentage of the incorporated NT-3 compared to the polymers grown for shorter times. Polymer-based neurotrophin delivery systems have the potential to be incorporated into future treatments for nerve injuries to prevent nerve degradation and promote nerve protection.

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