Engineering polydopamine-coated gold nanocages for biomedical applications.

by Chen, Jingyi

Drug delivery systems with targeted capability and on-demand controlled release mechanism are particularly appealing for designing optimal medications in many disease treatments. One of such systems consists of polydopamine-coated gold nanocages (PDA-AuNCs) that are capable of converting light into heat and triggering the release of the encapsulated therapeutics. The release kinetics is dependent on the noncovalent binding affinity of the polymer-drug complexes. The photothermal effect of AuNC can initiate an instantaneous release, and thus control of the release kinetics, demonstrating on-demand drug release. The surface of these PDA-AuNCs can be readily functionalized with specific moieties for targeting biomarkers at the pathol. sites. Further utilizing the optical properties of AuNCs, these systems can achieve theranostics through diagnosis via AuNC contrast-enhanced mol. imaging and multi-modal treatment via photodynamic-, photothermal-, and chemo-/antibiotic- therapies.