Expanding nanoparticle multifunctionality: size-selected cargo release and multiple logic operations†
Physically stimulated nanoparticles that deliver size-selected cargo and function as logic gates are reported. To achieve this goal the particle requires multiple components, and we recognized early on that the components, not just the released cargo, could be used to demonstrate logic operations (OR and AND logic). For stimuli, we chose two non-invasive types, red light and alternating magnetic fields (AMF), because they both have potential biological relevance. To realize cargo delivery with size selection and logic operations, we mechanized the surface of core@shell nanoparticles with a superparamagnetic core that generates localized heating when exposed to an AMF, and a mesoporous silica shell into which cargo molecules with different sizes were loaded. We demonstrate the core@shell nanoparticles can load the dual cargos with different sizes and subsequently release the smaller (∼0.5 nm) and bigger (∼2 nm) cargos in succession when stimulated by a red light followed by an AMF. Finally, we demonstrate that the multi-component nanoparticles could function as nanoparticle-based Boolean logic gates where AMF and red light served as the two inputs and the release of small cargo, and free cyclodextrin served as the outputs. The construction of two Boolean logic gates (OR, and AND) was realized.