Conjugated Polymer for Voltage-Controlled Release of Molecules

Shenghua Liu, Ying Fu, Guijun Li, Li Li, Helen Ka-wai Law, Xianfeng Chen, Feng Yan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Conjugated polymers are attractive in numerous biological applications because they are flexible, biocompatible, cost effective, solution processable, and electronic/ionic conductive. One interesting application is for controllable drug release, and this has been realized previously using organic electronic ion pumps. However, organic electronic ion pumps show high operating voltages and limited transportation efficiency. Here, we present the first report of low-voltage-controlled molecular release with a novel organic device based on a conjugated polymer poly(3-hexylthiophene). The releasing rate of molecules can be accurately controlled by the duration of the voltage applied on the device. We also successfully demonstrate the use of a handy mobile phone to remotely control the releasing process and its application in delivering an anticancer drug to treat cancer cells. The working mechanism of the device is attributed to the unique switchable permeability of poly(3-hexylthiophene) in aqueous solutions under a bias voltage that can tune the wettability of poly(3-hexylthiophene) via oxidation or reduction processes. The organic devices are expected to find many promising applications for controllable drug delivery in biological systems.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1701733
JournalAdvanced Materials
Issue number35
Early online date14 Jul 2017
Publication statusPublished - 20 Sept 2017

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Organic semiconductor; Organic bioelectronics; Tunable wettability; Controlled release; Conjugated Polymer


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