Nanoplasmonics for dual-molecule release through nanopores in the membrane of red blood cells

ACS Nano. 2012 May 22;6(5):4169-80. doi: 10.1021/nn3006619. Epub 2012 Apr 6.


A nanoplasmonics-based opto-nanoporation method of creating nanopores upon laser illumination is applied for inducing diffusion and triggered release of small and large molecules from red blood cells (RBCs). The method is implemented using absorbing gold nanoparticle (Au-NP) aggregates on the membrane of loaded RBCs, which, upon near-IR laser light absorption, induce release of encapsulated molecules from selected cells. The binding of Au-NPs to RBCs is characterized by Raman spectroscopy. The process of release is driven by heating localized at nanoparticles, which impacts the permeability of the membrane by affecting the lipid bilayer and/or trans-membrane proteins. Localized heating and temperature rise around Au-NP aggregates is simulated and discussed. Research reported in this work is relevant for generating nanopores for biomolecule trafficking through polymeric and lipid membranes as well as cell membranes, while dual- and multi-molecule release is relevant for theragnostics and a wide range of therapies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Erythrocyte Membrane* / ultrastructure
  • Microscopy, Electron, Transmission
  • Nanotechnology*