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Magnetoplasmonic control (actuation and monitoring) of drug release using Fe/Au semi‐shells on biodegradable nanoparticles (MAGPLADRUG)

19th national competition for scientific and technical research

Graphene, atoms, clusters and metallic nanoparticles: Fundamental Basis and Applications

Senior Researcher : Alejandro Gómez Roca

Research Centre or Institution : Instituto Catalán de Nanociencia y Nanotecnología. Bellaterra, Barcelona.


The main objective is to demonstrate the magnetoplasmonic control of photothermal and photodynamic therapies in vitro, down to the cellular level. The proposed control nanosystem will allow simultaneous action (controlled drug release) and monitoring (through changes in rheological properties) in cell cultures.

To achieve this, it´s necessary to reach the following objectives. 1) The manufacture of biodegradable magnetoplasmonic nanoparticles (nanodomes) based on PLGA loaded with anti-cancer drugs. 2) To develop a simple and economic opto-magnetic microscope that integrates the image of the cells and the magnetoplasmonic action of the nanodomes to achieve optical heating, magnetic rotation and detection of rheological properties. 3) Control (performance and monitoring) of in vitro therapy.

               During this period, we have managed to manufacture PLGA nanoparticles with paclitaxel and partially coated with Fe/SiO2 with an average size of 160 nm. Fe/SiO2 semi-shells present better photo-stability than Fe/Au while keeping the opto-magnetic properties. Moreover, during the last year we have improved the photothermal capabilities of the nanodomes changing the coverage to Fe/Ti.

After the optimization of the composition, the particles are ready to start drug release monitoring and cell internalization trials. These encapsulation/release tests have been doing with fluorescent dyes, at the same time than the drug, in order to optimize the efficiency. Incubation of the nanodomes with monocytes (THP-1) succeeded as the internalization is high enough to sense and actuate the cells. Moreover, we have observed that the drug release can be controlled and slow down by encapsulating the drug in the nanodomes respect of having the drug free inside the cells.

On the other hand, the installation of the opto-magnetic microscope finished and we started with some trials. We can confirm that where we were able to observe nanodome loaded cells.


Scientific Production
Magazine Articles 1
Communications at national conferences 1
Communications at international conferences 5


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