Dendrimers are synthetic macromolecules with unique structures that can work as nanoplatforms for both photothermogenic gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) and thermosensitive elastin-like peptides (ELPs) with valine-proline-glycine-valine-glycine (VPGVG) repeats. In this study, photothermogenic AuNPs were loaded into thermo-responsive elastin-mimetic dendrimers (dendrimers conjugating ELPs at their periphery) to produce dual stimuli-sensitive nanoparticles. Polyamidoamine G4 dendrimers were modified with acetylated VPGVG and (VPGVG)2, and the resulting materials were named ELP1-den and ELP2-den, respectively. The AuNPs were prepared by the reduction of Au ions using a dendrimer-nanotemplated method. The AuNP-loaded elastin-mimetic dendrimers exhibited photothermal properties. ELP1-den and ELP2-den showed similar temperature-dependent changes in their conformations. Phase transitions were observed at around 55°C and 35°C for the AuNP-loaded ELP1-den and AuNP-loaded ELP2-den, respectively, but not for the corresponding PEGylated dendrimer. In contrast to the AuNP-loaded PEGylated dendrimer, AuNP-loaded ELP2-den readily associated with cells and induced efficient photocytotoxicity at 37°C. The cell association and the photocytotoxicity properties of AuNP-loaded ELP2-den could be controlled by temperature. These results therefore suggest that dual stimuli-sensitive dendrimer nanoparticles of this type could be used for photothermal therapy.
- Gold nanoparticle
- Photothermal therapy
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Surfaces and Interfaces
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry