Special Issue "Gold Nanoparticles as Host Nanosystems"

A special issue of Nanomaterials (ISSN 2079-4991). This special issue belongs to the section "Synthesis, Interfaces and Nanostructures".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 May 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Paolo Pengo
Guest Editor
Department of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Trieste, Trieste, Italy
Interests: gold nanoparticles; supramolecular chemistry; molecular recognition; design of nanoparticles monolayer

Special Issue Information

Dear colleagues,

Host nanosystems based on gold nanoparticles enjoy a sustained development because of the synthetic flexibility allowed by the self-assembled nature of the organic shell coating the nanoparticles. Indeed, gold nanoparticles can be engineered into versatile hosting systems acting as exo-receptors by proper selection of the functional groups and/or recognition units displayed at the outer monolayer surface. Gold nanoparticles can also act as endo-receptors in which the synergistic combination of hydrophobic and other non-covalent interactions provides the driving force for small molecule recognition by the monolayer inner regions. In addition, host nanosystems based on gold nanoparticles, with sizes that compare to those of many naturally evolved objects such as protein, protein complexes, nucleic acid–protein complexes or cellular substructures, have prompted researchers to push the target guests beyond the limit of small molecules to include biopolymers, lipid aggregates, and functionalized surfaces. The rich diversity of guests that can be targeted by these host nanosystems has allowed their applications as drug and gene delivery vectors, platforms for chemical and biological sensing, building blocks in supramolecular chemistry, and probes to interrogate the complexity of recognition events at the nanoscale, to mention a few examples. 

This Special Issue aims at covering all aspects of the synthesis, development, and implementation of gold-nanoparticle-based host nanosystems for a span of guests including small molecules, polymers, and biopolymers. Studies aimed at understanding how the host–guest chemistry of gold nanoparticles is controlled by the properties of their coating shell are also welcomed.  

Contributions to the issue include full papers, communications, and reviews.


Dr. Paolo Pengo
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Nanomaterials is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Gold nanoparticles
  • Gold nanoparticle receptors
  • Gold nanoparticles hosts
  • Host-guest chemistry
  • Drug delivery
  • Sensing
  • Nanoparticles monolayer

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Nanoporous Gold Monolith for High Loading of Unmodified Doxorubicin and Sustained Co-Release of Doxorubicin-Rapamycin
Nanomaterials 2021, 11(1), 208; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano11010208 - 15 Jan 2021
Nanoparticles (NPs) have been widely explored for delivering doxorubicin (DOX), an anticancer drug, to minimize cardiotoxicity. However, their efficiency is marred by a necessity to chemically modify DOX, NPs, or both and low deposition of the administered NPs on tumors. Therefore, alternative strategies [...] Read more.
Nanoparticles (NPs) have been widely explored for delivering doxorubicin (DOX), an anticancer drug, to minimize cardiotoxicity. However, their efficiency is marred by a necessity to chemically modify DOX, NPs, or both and low deposition of the administered NPs on tumors. Therefore, alternative strategies should be developed to improve therapeutic efficacy and decrease toxicity. Here we report the possibility of employing a monolithic nanoporous gold (np-Au) rod as an implant for delivering DOX. The np-Au has very high DOX encapsulation efficiency (>98%) with maximum loading of 93.4 mg cm−3 without any chemical modification required of DOX or np-Au. We provide a plausible mechanism for the high loading of DOX in np-Au. The DOX sustained release for 26 days from np-Au in different pH conditions at 37 °C, which was monitored using UV-Vis spectroscopy. Additionally, we encased the DOX-loaded np-Au with rapamycin (RAPA)-trapped poly(D,L-lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) to fabricate an [email protected]/RAPA implant and optimized the combinatorial release of DOX and RAPA. Further exploiting the effect of the protein corona around np-Au and [email protected]/RAPA showed zero-order release kinetics of DOX. This work proves that the np-Au-based implant has the potential to be used as a DOX carrier of potential use in cancer treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gold Nanoparticles as Host Nanosystems)
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