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Open AccessArticle

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

Department of Chemistry and the Texas Center for Superconductivity, University of Houston, Houston, TX 77204, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(14), 3422;
Received: 11 June 2019 / Revised: 6 July 2019 / Accepted: 10 July 2019 / Published: 12 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mesoporous Materials: From Synthesis to Applications)
PDF [2674 KB, uploaded 12 July 2019]


A “smart” [email protected] 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 [email protected] NPs are composed of an optically active gold nanoshell (GNS) core and a mesoporous (m-) silica layer (m-SiO2). The [email protected]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” [email protected] 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. View Full-Text
Keywords: drug delivery; temperature-responsive; gold nanoshell; hydrogel coating drug delivery; temperature-responsive; gold nanoshell; hydrogel coating

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Kim, B.S.; Chen, Y.-T.; Srinoi, P.; Marquez, M.D.; Lee, T.R. Hydrogel-Encapsulated Mesoporous Silica-Coated Gold Nanoshells for Smart Drug Delivery. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20, 3422.

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