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Gold-Nanoshell-Functionalized Polymer Nanoswimmer for Photomechanical Poration of Single-Cell Membrane

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posted on 03.04.2019, 00:00 by Wei Wang, Zhiguang Wu, Xiankun Lin, Tieyan Si, Qiang He
We report an ultrasound-driven gold-nanoshell-functionalized polymer multilayer tubular nanoswimmer that can photomechanically perforate the membrane of a cancer cell by assistance of near-infrared (NIR) light. The nanoswimmers were constructed by a template-assisted layer-by-layer technique and subsequent functionalization of Au nanoshells inside the big opening. The nanoswimmers exhibit efficient and controllable movement toward target cells through the manipulation of the acoustic field. Next, the nanoswimmers with end-on attachment onto the HeLa cells achieve the poration of the cell membrane within 0.1 s under the irradiation of NIR light. The experimental and theoretical results suggest that the instantaneous photothermal effect provides enough photomechanical force to open the cell membrane. Such NIR-light-assisted nanoswimmers-enabled cell membrane poration possesses various advantages including active targeting, short time, and precision in single cells that conventional chemical and physical cell poration techniques could not achieve and, thus, provides considerable promise in a variety of biomedical applications such as gene delivery and artificial insemination.