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Int J Mol Sci. 2019 Jul 12;20(14). pii: E3422. doi: 10.3390/ijms20143422.

Hydrogel-Encapsulated Mesoporous Silica-Coated Gold Nanoshells for Smart Drug Delivery.

Author information

1
Department of Chemistry and the Texas Center for Superconductivity, University of Houston, Houston, TX 77204, USA.
2
Department of Chemistry and the Texas Center for Superconductivity, University of Houston, Houston, TX 77204, USA. trlee@uh.edu.

Abstract

A "smart" core@shell composite nanoparticle (NP) having dual-response mechanisms (i.e., temperature and light) was synthesized, and its efficacy in the loading and release of small molecules was explored. These core@shell NPs are composed of an optically active gold nanoshell (GNS) core and a mesoporous (m-) silica layer (m-SiO2). The GNS@m-SiO2 nanoparticles are further encapsulated within a thermo-responsive poly(N-isopropylacrylamide-co-acrylic acid) hydrogel (PNIPAM-co-AA). The multi-responsive composite NPs were designed to create thermally and optically modulated drug-delivery vehicles with a m-SiO2 layer providing additional non-collapsible space for drug storage. The influence of the m-SiO2 layer on the efficacy of loading and release of methylene blue, which serves as a model for a small-molecule therapeutic drug, was evaluated. The "smart" core@shell composite NPs having a m-SiO2 layer demonstrated an improved capacity to load and release small molecules compared to the corresponding NPs with no m-SiO2 shell. Additionally, an efficient response by the composite NPs was successfully induced by the thermal energy generated from the gold nanoshell core upon exposure to near infrared (NIR) stimulation.

KEYWORDS:

drug delivery; gold nanoshell; hydrogel coating; temperature-responsive

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