Electrical stimulation is an attractive approach to tune on-demand drug release in the body as it relies on simple setups and requires typically 1 V or less. Although many studies have been focused on the development of potential smart materials for electrically controlled drug release, as well as on the exploration of different delivery mechanisms, progress in the field is slow because the response of cells exposed to external electrical stimulus is frequently omitted from such investigations. In this work, we monitor the behavior of prostate and breast cancer cells (PC-3 and MCF7, respectively) exposed to electroactive platforms loaded with curcumin, a hydrophobic anticancer drug. These consist in conducting polymer nanoparticles, which release drug molecules by altering their interactions with polymer, and electrospun polyester microfibres that contain electroactive nanoparticles able to alter the porosity of the matrix through an electro-mechanical actuation mechanism. The response of the cells against different operating conditions has been examined considering their viability, metabolism, spreading and shape. Results have allowed us to differentiate the damage induced in the cell by the electrical stimulation from other effects, as for example, the anticancer activity of curcumin and/or the presence of curcumin-loaded nanoparticles or fibres, demonstrating that these kinds of platforms can be effective when the dosage of the drug occurs under restricted conditions.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited