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Application of conducting polymers to wound care and skin tissue engineering: A review

Talikowska, Milena, Fu, Xiaoxu, Lisak, Grzegorz
Biosensors & bioelectronics 2019 v.135 pp. 50-63
antibacterial properties, biochemical compounds, biocompatibility, biosensors, copolymerization, electrical conductivity, electrical treatment, hydrogels, illicit drugs, mixing, physical properties, polymers, pyrroles, tissue repair
The use of intrinsically conducting polymers (CPs) in wound care and skin tissue engineering presents a novel opportunity for accelerated wound healing, enhanced antibacterial activity and the potential for controlled drug delivery. Through their increased electrical conductivity, CPs can facilitate the application of electrical stimulation directly to the wound area, which has been linked to faster wound healing. The release of drugs or biological agents to the wound site can likewise be modulated through the use of an external electrical stimuli. This review thus summarises the available literature regarding the use of CPs for wound healing and skin tissue engineering applications, in particular the most common CPs, polyaniline (PANI), polypyrrole (PPy), polythiophene (PTh) and their derivates, including poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) (PEDOT). Results indicated that PANI and PPy, two CPs that have been most extensively studied across a range of applications, including biological, were also most frequently used in wound dressings and hydrogels. PPy was most commonly applied to skin tissue scaffolds. CPs were also frequently combined with biomolecules or biocompatible polymers via doping, the formation of composites, co-polymerisation or blending in order to improve their biocompatibility and physical properties. Overall, CPs offer much potential in terms of promoting enhanced wound healing and in skin tissue engineering.