Photoinduced intracellular controlled release drug delivery in human cells by gold-capped mesoporous silica nanosphere

J Am Chem Soc. 2009 Mar 18;131(10):3462-3. doi: 10.1021/ja900025f.


A gold nanoparticle (AuNP)-capped mesoporous silica nanosphere (MSN)-based intracellular drug delivery system (PR-AuNPs-MSN) for the photoinduced controlled release of an anticancer drug, paclitaxel, inside of human fibroblast and liver cells was synthesized and characterized. We found that the mesopores of MSN could be efficiently capped by the photoresponsive AuNPs without leaking the toxic drug, paclitaxel, inside of live human cells. This "zero premature release" characteristic is of importance for delivery of toxic drugs in chemotherapy. Furthermore, we demonstrated that the cargo-release property of this PR-AuNPs-MSN system could be easily controlled by low-power photoirradiation under biocompatible and physiological conditions. We envision that our results would play a significant role in designing new generations of carrier materials for intracellular delivery of a variety of hydrophobic toxic drugs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Drug Delivery Systems*
  • Gold / chemistry*
  • Humans
  • Light*
  • Metal Nanoparticles*
  • Microscopy, Electron, Transmission
  • Silicon Dioxide / chemistry*


  • Gold
  • Silicon Dioxide