Transformable liquid-metal nanomedicine. Academic Article uri icon


  • To date, numerous inorganic nanocarriers have been explored for drug delivery systems (DDSs). However, the clinical application of inorganic formulations has often been hindered by their toxicity and failure to biodegrade. We describe here a transformable liquid-metal nanomedicine, based on a core-shell nanosphere composed of a liquid-phase eutectic gallium-indium core and a thiolated polymeric shell. This formulation can be simply produced through a sonication-mediated method with bioconjugation flexibility. The resulting nanoparticles loaded with doxorubicin (Dox) have an average diameter of 107nm and demonstrate the capability to fuse and subsequently degrade under a mildly acidic condition, which facilitates release of Dox in acidic endosomes after cellular internalization. Equipped with hyaluronic acid, a tumour-targeting ligand, this formulation displays enhanced chemotherapeutic inhibition towards the xenograft tumour-bearing mice. This liquid metal-based DDS with fusible and degradable behaviour under physiological conditions provides a new strategy for engineering theranostic agents with low toxicity.

published proceedings

  • Nat Commun

author list (cited authors)

  • Lu, Y., Hu, Q., Lin, Y., Pacardo, D. B., Wang, C., Sun, W., ... Gu, Z.

complete list of authors

  • Lu, Yue||Hu, Quanyin||Lin, Yiliang||Pacardo, Dennis B||Wang, Chao||Sun, Wujin||Ligler, Frances S||Dickey, Michael D||Gu, Zhen

publication date

  • December 2015