Towards in-vivo grown bioelectronics: utilising bipolar electrochemistry

Robinson, Andie Jane (2022) Towards in-vivo grown bioelectronics: utilising bipolar electrochemistry. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Abstract

Bipolar electrochemistry brings exciting possibilities to be able to grow electronics in situ within biological systems, thus creating electronics that seamlessly merge with biology and are on a similar scale to cellular components. This could allow the development of novel applications to tackle some of the world’s greatest health burdens, such as cancer. Therefore, the aim of this thesis is to develop bioelectronic systems, utilising bipolar electrochemistry, for possible applications in cancer treatment.

State of the art bioelectronic treatment of cancer includes tumour treating fields: a novel therapy whereby high frequency electric fields are used to halt the growth of tumours. Electric fields are currently applied to target sites using external electrodes, hence the development of in-situ grown electrodes for this application could improve therapy outcomes and lower timeframes and costs. Working towards this application, this thesis has three main objectives: the development of wirelessly in situ grown microwires (MWs) in the presence of cells, the development of bipolar electrodes (BPEs) suitable for use in biological systems, and the development of a method to characterise nano-BPEs in order to better understand bipolar electrochemistry in the presence of biological systems.

Ag MWs are grown using a wireless, bipolar electrochemical method. We build on previous literature by optimising the electrode setup required to grow Ag MWs. Alternating current (AC) is then used to grow Ag MWs for the first time and proofs of concept for growing MWs in the presence of 3D cell cultures and from the addition of a metal salt are presented.

Nano-BPEs are developed using conductive metallic and polymeric nanoparticles. Bipolar electrochemical reactions are confirmed at the nanoscale BPEs using dynamic light scattering (DLS) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) with energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS). These BPEs are then introduced to a tumour treating fields (TTFs) research device and show promise in potentiating the cytotoxic effects of TTFs.

Finally, an impedimetric method for the characterisation of nano-BPEs is developed. This method is then used to characterise nano-BPEs in the presence of biological systems. Au Nano-BPEs are shown to be sensed when placed intracellularly, therefore showing great promise for applications in bioelectronics.

Overall, these developments will help advance the field of wireless bioelectronics and aid in the understanding of how bipolar electrochemistry performs at the nanoscale. This will have broad reaching impact in bioelectronic medicine, biosensing and nanoelectronics.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Rawson, Frankie
Rahman, Ruman
Hague, Richard
Keywords: Bipolar electrochemistry, Bioelectronics, Nanoparticles
Subjects: Q Science > QD Chemistry > QD450 Physical and theoretical chemistry
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Science > School of Pharmacy
Item ID: 68743
Depositing User: Robinson, Andie
Date Deposited: 28 Jul 2022 04:40
Last Modified: 28 Jul 2022 04:40
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/68743

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