Gold nanorod mediated chlorhexidine microparticle formation and near-infrared light induced release

Dong Luo, Md Samiul Hasan, Saroash Shahid, Boris N. Khlebtsov, Michael J. Cattell, Gleb B. Sukhorukov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Gold nanorods (GNR) are good light harvesting species for elaboration of near-infrared (NIR) responsive drug delivery systems. Herein, chlorhexidine microparticles are grown directly on the surface of gold nanorods and then stabilized with polyelectrolyte multilayer encapsulation, producing novel composite drug-GNR particles with high drug loading and NIR light sensitivity. Crystallization of chlorhexidine is caused by the ionic strength of the chloride solution that has been demonstrated via formation of a homogeneous porous spherical structure at 0.33 M CaCl2. By introducing GNRs into the CaCl2 solution, the nucleation of chlorhexidine molecules and size of produced spheres are affected, since GNRs act as sites for chlorhexidine nucleation. Similarly, when GNRs are replaced by chlorhexidine seeds (5.2 ± 1.7 μm), a core-shell crystal structure is observed. The encapsulated GNR/chlorhexidine composites are responsive to NIR light (840 nm) that increases the temperature at the chlorhexidine crystals, followed by microparticle dissolution and rupture of capsules which is illustrated with confocal microscopy and SEM. Furthermore, a stepwise burst release of chlorhexidine can be induced by multiple cycles of NIR light exposure. The GNR/chlorhexidine composites show good biocompatibility and antimicrobial activity. The proposed method of antibacterial drug release may therefore indicate that this NIR responsive chlorhexidine composite may be useful for future clinical applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7982-7993
Number of pages12
Issue number32
Publication statusPublished - 15 Aug 2017
Externally publishedYes


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