Uniform and electrically conductive biopolymer-doped polypyrrole coating for fibrous PLA

Maiju Hiltunen (Corresponding Author), Jani Pelto, V. Ellä, Markku Kellomäki

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    10 Citations (Scopus)


    Three-dimensional, fibrous scaffolds can be easily fabricated from polylactide (PLA) using melt spinning and textile techniques. However, the surface properties of PLA scaffolds are not ideal for tissue engineering purposes. Furthermore, electrically conducting scaffolds are required to deliver electrical stimulation to cells. In this study, uniform, electrically conducting polypyrrole (PPy) coatings were fabricated on biodegradable PLA fibers. Biopolymer dopants—hyaluronic acid (HA) and chondroitin sulfate (CS)—were compared, and a PPy/CS composition was analyzed further. The effect of the oxidative polymerization conditions on the PLA fibers and CS counterion was studied. Furthermore, the initial molecular weight of CS and its degree of polymerization were determined. Our experiments showed that the molecular weight of CS decreases under oxidizing conditions but that the decay is not significant with the short polymerization process we used. The coating process was transferred to nonwoven PLA fabrics, and the stability of PPy/CS coating was studied during in vitro incubation in phosphate buffer solution at physiological temperature. The conductivity and surface roughness of the coating decayed during the 20-day incubation. The mechanical strength, however, remained at the initial level. Thus, the fabricated structures are suitable for short-term electrical stimulation adequate to promote cell functions in specific cases.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1721-1729
    JournalJournal of Biomedical Materials Research Part B: Applied Biomaterials
    Issue number8
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2016
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • coating(s)
    • scaffolds
    • stability
    • surface characterization
    • tissue engineering


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