Magneto-plasmonic nanostars for image-guided and NIR-triggered drug delivery

Asahi Tomitaka, Hamed Arami, Arash Ahmadivand, Nezih Pala, Anthony J. McGoron, Yasushi Takemura, Marcelo Febo, Madhavan Nair
Scientific Reports2020
Smart multifunctional nanoparticles with magnetic and plasmonic properties assembled on a single nanoplatform are promising for various biomedical applications. Owing to their expanding imaging and therapeutic capabilities in response to external stimuli, they have been explored for on-demand drug delivery, image-guided drug delivery, and simultaneous diagnostic and therapeutic (i.e. theranostic) applications. In this study, we engineered nanoparticles with unique morphology consisting of a superparamagnetic iron oxide core and star-shaped plasmonic shell with high-aspect-ratio gold branches. Strong magnetic and near-infrared (NIR)-responsive plasmonic properties of the engineered nanostars enabled multimodal quantitative imaging combining advantageous functions of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), magnetic particle imaging (MPI), photoacoustic imaging (PAI), and image-guided drug delivery with a tunable drug release capacity. The model drug molecules bound to the core-shell nanostars were released upon NIR illumination due to the heat generation from the core-shell nanostars. Moreover, our simulation analysis showed that the specific design of the core-shell nanostars demonstrated a pronounced multipolar plasmon resonance, which has not been observed in previous reports. The multimodal imaging and NIR-triggered drug release capabilities of the proposed nanoplatform verify their potential for precise and controllable drug release with different applications in personalized medicine.
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