Temperature-sensitive hydrogels with SiO2-Au nanoshells for controlled drug delivery.
Silica-gold (SiO(2)-Au) nanoshells are a new class of nanoparticles that consist of a silica dielectric core that is surrounded by a gold shell. These nanoshells are unique because their peak extinctions are very easily tunable over a wide range of wavelengths particularly in the near infrared (IR) region of the spectrum. Light in this region is transmitted through tissue with relatively little attenuation due to absorption. In addition, irradiation of SiO(2)-Au nanoshells at their peak extinction coefficient results in the conversion of light to heat energy that produces a local rise in temperature. Thus, to develop a photothermal modulated drug delivery system, we have fabricated nanoshell-composite hydrogels in which SiO(2)-Au nanoshells of varying concentrations have been embedded within temperature-sensitive hydrogels, for the purpose of initiating a temperature change with light. N-isopropylacrylamide-co-acrylamide (NIPAAm-co-AAm) hydrogels are temperature-sensitive hydrogels that were fabricated to exhibit a lower critical solution temperature (LCST) slightly above body temperature. The resulting composite hydrogels had the extinction spectrum of the SiO(2)-Au nanoshells in which the hydrogels collapsed reversibly in response to temperature (50 degrees C) and laser irradiation. The degree of collapse of the hydrogels was controlled by the laser fluence as well as the concentration of SiO(2)-Au nanoshells. Modulated drug delivery profiles for methylene blue, insulin, and lysozyme were achieved by irradiation of the drug-loaded nanoshell-composite hydrogels, which showed that drug release was dependent upon the molecular weight of the therapeutic molecule.
Bikram, M; Gobin, AM; Whitmire, RE; West, JL
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