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ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2015 Jan 14;7(1):250-5. doi: 10.1021/am507680u. Epub 2014 Dec 22.

Biodegradable protein-based rockets for drug transportation and light-triggered release.

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State Key Laboratory of Robotics and System (HIT), Academy of Fundamental and Interdisciplinary Sciences, Harbin Institute of Technology , Harbin 150080, China.


We describe a biodegradable, self-propelled bovine serum albumin/poly-l-lysine (PLL/BSA) multilayer rocket as a smart vehicle for efficient anticancer drug encapsulation/delivery to cancer cells and near-infrared light controlled release. The rockets were constructed by a template-assisted layer-by-layer assembly of the PLL/BSA layers, followed by incorporation of a heat-sensitive gelatin hydrogel containing gold nanoparticles, doxorubicin, and catalase. These rockets can rapidly deliver the doxorubicin to the targeted cancer cell with a speed of up to 68 μm/s, through a combination of biocatalytic bubble propulsion and magnetic guidance. The photothermal effect of the gold nanoparticles under NIR irradiation enable the phase transition of the gelatin hydrogel for rapid release of the loaded doxorubicin and efficient killing of the surrounding cancer cells. Such biodegradable and multifunctional protein-based microrockets provide a convenient and efficient platform for the rapid delivery and controlled release of therapeutic drugs.


autonomous propulsion; biodegradation; drug release; layer-by-layer; rocket

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