Virtual Conference

Rania M. Hathout

Ain Shams University, Egypt

Title: Electro-responsive electro-polymerized nanoparticles for brain cancer treatment


Integrating nanotechnology and stimuli-responsive drug delivery carriers aiming for tumor-targeting is the focus of vast amount of research nowadays. Accordingly, the use of conjugated polymers, also referred to as synthetic metals, for biomedical applications have attracted much attention due to their unique intrinsic property of combined electronic and ionic conductivity. Polypyrrole (Ppy), is one of the most studied conjugated polymers. In addition to its low cost, excellent stability and biocompatibility, this polymer (polycation) can be prepared via chemical synthesis or electrochemical oxidation polymerization techniques. The latter approach can be performed at room temperature in neutral aqueous solvents such as water and avoids the use of hazardous oxidizing agents. Moreover, a negatively charged molecule such as crocin, a water soluble carotenoid pigment naturally found in saffron, can be exploited as a dopant. This molecule has been widely studied in many diseases owing to its superior anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties. In this context, crocin-loaded polypyrrole (Ppy) nanoparticles (NPs) were prepared using electrochemical polymerization as a green chemical synthesis method. The developed NPs were characterized using dynamic light scattering, doppler velocimetry and transmission electron microscopy. Moreover, the loading of crocin on the developed Ppy nanoparticles was confirmed using 1H-NMR and FTIR spectroscopy. The cytotoxicity of the developed Ppy NPs and the electrical stimulus-responsive release of its payload; crocin (anticancer agent) were also assessed. The results demonstrated the successful preparation of pseudo-spherical NPs of particle size 246 ± 27 nm and a zeta potential of -13.6 ± 0.78 mV. 1H-NMR and FTIR methods revealed the presence of crocin unique chemical groups in the developed NPs confirming its loading. Moreover, the electro-responsive behavior of Ppy was confirmed opening the possibility of implementing an on-off therapy using the developed NPs. An augmented anticancer activity of the novel synthesized NPs was observed in GL261 brain cancer cells and was attributed to the synergistic effect of using crocin together with Ppy exploiting their complimentary anti-cancer mechanistic pathways.


Rania Hathout possesses an H-index of 36. She was globally recognized for her scientific excellence being selected as a finalist in the UK alumni awards (2021-2022) and being ranked among the top 2% most impacting scientists for three successive years; 2019, 2020 and 2021. She has a publication ranked amongst the top 1% papers in Pharmacy (2017-2020) and another article selected by the ACS as one of the best articles in Africa-2020. In 2022, she was selected by L’Oreal Paris as one of the top distinguished 100 women in Egypt and Hall of Fame in Science. She was awarded State award in Cancer treatment, August 2021 and Prof. Dr. Sediq Afifi prize in Scientific Research, June 2021. She was also awarded Obada International prize (African Academy of Sciences) February 2020. She is also an awarder of the Egyptian State Excellence award (2021), Egyptian State Excellence Medal (Accolade) (2017), Egyptian State Incentive award (2014), the State award in the field of medicine (2017), the State award  in the field of medical genetics (2016), European Science foundation award (2013), Lancaster University grant (2016), INNOVINC Foundation (USA) grant  (2019), the best presentation in the Frontiers Meetings Ltd, London, UK (2019).