PEGylated polyethylenimine-stabilized polypyrrole nanoparticles loaded with DOX for chemo-photothermal therapy of cancer cells

  • Shuhang Lan
  • Weicheng Xie
  • Jingjing Wang
  • Jie Hu
  • Wei Tang
  • Wenting Yang
  • Xiangrong YuEmail author
  • Hui LiuEmail author
Research Paper


Combination of kinds of therapy modalities is promising for effective cancer treatment. Herein, a kind of multifunctional nanoparticles (NPs) was developed for cancer chemo-photothermal therapy applications. Polypyrrole (PPy) NPs were formed using a facile polymerization method using poly(ethyleneimine) (PEI) as stabilizer, followed by polyethylene glycol (PEG) modification and anticancer drug doxorubicin (DOX) loading. Showing obvious absorbance in the NIR range, the obtained PPy-PEI-PEG NPs displayed well photothermal ability with desirable photothermal stability. The release of the loaded DOX can be promoted by pH and laser stimulation. Compared with single therapy modality, the combination of chemotherapy and photothermal therapy showed higher cancer cell killing effect. The cellular internalization of the obtained NPs was proved to be effective. The developed multifunctional NPs are promising candidates for combined therapy of cancer cells.


Polyethylenimine Polypyrrole nanoparticles Chemotherapy Photothermal therapy Nanomedicine 


Funding information

This research was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (51703184, 81701684), the Chongqing Research Program of Basic Research and Frontier Technology (cstc2017jcyjAX0066), the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities from Southwest University (XDJK2018B007), a start-up grant from Southwest University (SWU116027), and the Science Foundation from Sci-Tech Office of Guangdong Province (2017A020215090).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

11051_2018_4418_MOESM1_ESM.docx (3.9 mb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 4026 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Luminescent and Real-Time Analytical Chemistry (Southwest University), Ministry of Education, Faculty of Materials and EnergySouthwest UniversityChongqingChina
  2. 2.Chongqing Engineering Research Center for Micro-Nano Biomedical Materials and DevicesChongqingChina
  3. 3.Department of RadiologyZhuhai Hospital of Jinan University, Zhuhai People’s HospitalZhuhaiPeople’s Republic of China

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