Biointerfacing polymeric microcapsules for in vivo near-infrared light-triggered drug release†
Seeking safe and effective water-soluble drug carriers is of great significance in nanomedicine. To achieve this goal, we present a novel drug delivery system based on biointerfacing hollow polymeric microcapsules for effectively encapsulating water-soluble antitumor drug and gold nanorod (GNR) functionalization for triggered release of therapeutic drugs on-demand using low power near-infrared (NIR) radiation. The surface of polymeric microcapsules is covered with fluidic lipid bilayers to decrease the permeability of the wall of polymeric capsules. The temperature increase upon NIR illumination deconstructs the structure of the lipid membrane and polyelectrolyte multilayers, which in turn results in the rapid release of encapsulated water-soluble drug. In vivo antitumor tests demonstrate that this microcapsule has the effective ability of inhibiting tumor growth and preventing metastases. Real time in vivo fluorescence imaging results confirm that capsules can be excreted gradually from the animal body which in turn demonstrates the biocompatibility and biodegradation of these biointerfacing GNR-microcapsules. This intelligent system provides a novel anticancer platform with the advantages of controlled release, biological friendliness and credible biosafety.