Gleb Sukhorukov, Department of Materials, Queen Mary University of London, UK
One of the challenges in the bionanotechnology field is development of nano-sized delivery systems comprising different functionalities. These systems should enable to ship and to carry bioactive substances to pre-defined site and unload it in designed time and place. Layer-by-layer assembled capsules are have been intensively studied in last few years owing to their ability to encapsulate a wide range of chemicals, for their permeability to be modified and their responsiveness to different factors and functionalities to be tailored in one capsule entity. Current research leads to the fabrication of carriers with remote guiding and activation by optical, magnetic and ultrasound addressing, what envisages unique applications as multifunctional biomaterials in-vivo. Microcapsules display a broad spectrum of qualities over other existing microdelivery systems such as high stability, longevity, versatile construction and a variety of methods to encapsulate and release substances. Release and encapsulation of materials by light and ultrasound and their navigation with magnetic field is a particularly interesting topic. Microcapsules can be made sensitive to light by incorporation of light sensitive polymers, functional dyes and metal nanoparticles. Optically active substances can be inserted into the shell during their assembly as a polymer complex or following the shell preparation. Visible- and infrared- addressable microcapsules offer a large array of release strategies for capsules, from destructive to highly sensitive reversible approaches. The paper demonstrates application for intracellular delivery of compounds and cellular response as well as in vivo perspectives.
Submicron sized capsules are good model to mimicking bio-chemical processes in a confined geometry imitating cell organelles, whilst delivered inside cell (including neurons) and tissues the capsules could serve as intracellular reporter or enzymatic reactor. Biophotonic approaches are envisaged to enhance the possibilities for multifunctional use of capsules. The talk discusses possible solutions and promising applications as combined delivery and sensing inside biological cells.
Prof. Gleb Sukhorukov
Department of Materials, Queen Mary University of London, Professor
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