Huang, Joyce; Johnson, Jessica; Saigal, Rajiv
ACS Biomaterials Science and Engineering 8 (2022)
After the spinal cord injury, inflammation and cytotoxicity cause further damage to neural cells. The progression of this secondary injury might be reduced by the administration of anti-inflammatory drugs. To allow the local delivery of such drugs while minimizing dural opening, we have created a polypyrrole (PPy)-coated microneedle array using a microscale three-dimensional (3D) printing technology that facilitates electronically controlled encapsulation and the transdural release of drugs. PPy microneedles demonstrated an electronically controlled release of steroid dexamethasone (Dexa) in a novel in vitro transdural model and in vivo. The biological activity of the device was then tested by the electronic release of Dexa into an in vitro model of neuroinflammation, using activated microglia. Following electrically activated Dexa release, inflammation was reduced, as demonstrated by a decrease in nitric oxide and proinflammatory cytokines Il-6 and MCP-1. These results demonstrate the feasibility of PPy-coated microneedles for the transdural delivery of anti-inflammatory drugs to the central nervous system.