Isolate, functionalize, and release: The ISOFURE platform for the functionalization of nanoparticles

Hariharasudhan D. Chirra, David Spencer, J. Zach Hilt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Polymer-coated inorganic nanoparticles are widely studied as carrier systems for various biomedical applications. For their translation into clinical applications, it is critical that they remain in a stable, non-agglomerated state and are also produced at a high yield with ease. Herein, we introduce a novel methodology called the isolate-functionalize-release (ISOFURE) strategy to synthesize stable hydrogelcoated nanoparticles in the absence of a stabilizing reagent. As a model platform, we isolated and functionalized gold nanoparticles (GNPs) in a degradable poly(beta amino ester) (PBAE) hydrogel composite. Isolation was done either by adding GNPs to the PBAE hydrogel precursor solution or via in situ precipitation of GNPs inside the pre-synthesized PBAE hydrogel. Atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP) was used as the model reaction to grow a temperature responsive poly(ethylene glycol) 600 dimethacrylate crosslinked poly(N-isopropyl acrylamide) hydrogel shell over the GNP core. Release of the temperature responsive hydrogel-coated GNPs was done by degrading the PBAE ISOFURE matrix in water. Characterization of the various nanoparticles using UV-Vis spectroscopy confirmed in situ precipitation of GNPs as well as ATRP over the GNPs. Light scattering confirmed the presence of temperature sensitive hydrogel shell over the GNP surface. Aging studies showed that the ISOFURE method based crosslinked hydrogel-coated GNPs showed higher stability and yield than that of the solution-based functionalized GNPs. The use of ISOFURE strategy shows promise as a simple tool for enhanced functionalization and stabilization over various nanocarriers under flexible experimental conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1230
JournalJournal of Nanoparticle Research
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2012


  • ATRP
  • Degradable polymers
  • Gold nanoparticles
  • Poly(beta amino ester)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Bioengineering
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • General Materials Science
  • Modeling and Simulation


Dive into the research topics of 'Isolate, functionalize, and release: The ISOFURE platform for the functionalization of nanoparticles'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this