Superparamagnetic iron oxide-gold nanoparticles conjugated with porous coordination cages: Towards controlled drug release for non-invasive neuroregeneration.
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This paper reports a smart intracellular nanocarrier for sustainable and controlled drug release in non-invasive neuroregeneration. The nanocarrier is composed by superparamagnetic iron oxide-gold (SPIO-Au) core-shell nanoparticles (NPs) conjugated with porous coordination cages (PCCs) through the thiol-containing molecules as bridges. The negatively charged PCC-2 and positively charged PCC-3 are compared for intracellular targeting. Both types result in intracellular targeting via direct penetration across cellular membranes. However, the pyrene (Py)-PEG-SH bridge enabled functionalization of SPIO-Au NPs with PCC-3 exhibits higher interaction with PC-12 neuron-like cells, compared with the rhodamine B (RhB)-PEG-SH bridge enabled case and the stand-alone SPIO-Au NPs. With neglectable toxicities to PC-12 cells, the proposed SPIO-Au-RhB(Py)-PCC-2(3) nanocarriers exhibit effective drug loading capacity of retinoic acid (RA) at 13.505 μg/mg of RA/NPs within 24 h. A controlled release of RA is achieved by using a low-intensity 525 nm LED light (100% compared to 40% for control group within 96 h).