Preparation of Gold/Silica Hybrid Nanoparticle and Its Applications


Reference #: 01130

The University of South Carolina is offering licensing opportunities for novel nanocarriers for disease detection, remotely controlled drug and gene delivery, and photothermal therapy.

Invention Description:

The subject invention is a fabrication method for a gold/silica hybrid nanoparticle that can be remotely controlled using NIR irradiation and remain stable after repeated exposure.

Potential Applications:

The potential applications for these nanoparticles include, but are not limited to, disease detection, drug and gene delivery, and photothermal therapy for cancers, heart and vascular diseases, central nervous system diseases, and rheumatoid arthritis.

Advantages and Benefits:

1.  Stable photothermal properties: In contrast to gold nanorod (GNR), the gold/silica nanoparticles are stable upon repetitive NIR laser irradiation induced heating/cooling cycles. Likewise, the GNR changed its shape and lost its photothermal capacity after NIR irradiation while the gold/silica nanoparticles kept their shape and retained the photothermal properties.

2.    Versatile drug loading capacity examples (doxorubicin, paclitaxel, peptide, protein, DNA, siRNA, and microRNA, etc.)

3.    High drug loading content, achieving 28% drug loading content for doxorubicin.

4.    Remotely controlled drug and gene release as well as photothermal therapy with minimized side effects


Gold nanoparticles (i.e. gold nanorods, gold nanoshells, and gold nanocages) have been extensively explored for their photothermal converting capacity in the near-infrared (NIR) window. Although gold nanoparticle based delivery systems exist, integrating both photothermal therapy and chemotherapy modules into one system remains a challenge, especially when repeated activation is needed. Instability also causes their photothermal capacity to diminish quickly upon repetitive NIR irradiation. In addition, current gold nanoparticles are not good drug carriers due to low drug loading capacity and poorly controlled drug release kinetics.

Experimental Validation:

Studies showed that the photothermal properties of the gold/silica nanoparticles remained intact after multiple heating/cooling cycles induced by NIR light irradiation, indicating that their payload could be released when triggered by NIR light irradiation. Furthermore, due to the unique stability of said nanoparticles, only one inject is necessary for repetitive photothermal therapy. These characteristics make gold/silica nanoparticles particularly useful as nanocarriers for remote controlled drug and gene delivery or photothermal therapy.

Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Lacie Cottrill
Technology Associate
University of South Carolina
Peisheng Xu
Bei Cheng
Huacheng He
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