Controlled Release of DNA Binding Anticancer Drugs from Gold Nanoparticles with Near-Infrared Radiation

Gracie Fitzgerald, Daniel Low, Luc Morgan, Cole Hilt, Micai Benford, Caleb Akers, Skyler Hornback, J. Zach Hilt, Daniel Scott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Traditional chemotherapies target rapidly developing cells in the human body resulting in harsh side effects including fatigue, immune system suppression, and nausea, among others. Delivery systems to focus the active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) to the diseased tissue can diminish the negative side effects while improving treatment outcomes. Gold nanoparticles (AuNP) offer many unique advantages as drug delivery vehicles, including being biologically inert, easily adaptable to various shapes and sizes, able to create a strong Au-thiol bond, and able to generate heat upon the absorption of near-infrared light. To this end, a AuNP delivery vehicle was engineered to load and release two DNA binding anti-cancer drugs, mithramycin and doxorubicin, in a controlled fashion. The drugs were loaded onto the surface of the AuNP with temperature sensitive linkages. The amount of heat generated, and subsequent release of the drugs was controlled by the irradiation time with a near-infrared laser. By modulating the linkage used to load the drugs three different release profiles were able to be achieved, indicating the feasibility of such a system for combinational therapy requiring sequential release of APIs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1064-1071
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 American Pharmacists Association


  • Cancer
  • Drug delivery systems
  • Drug targeting
  • Fluorescence spectroscopy
  • Nanocompositions
  • Nanotechnology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science


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