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WIREs Nanomed Nanobiotechnol
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Thermally responsive polymer–nanoparticle composites for biomedical applications

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Abstract Thermally responsive polymer–metal nanoparticle composites couple the ability of certain metal nanoparticles to convert external stimuli to heat with polymers that display sharp property changes in response to temperature changes, allowing for external control over polymer properties. These systems have been investigated for a variety of biomedical applications, including drug delivery, microfluidic valve control, and cancer therapy. This article focuses on three different size scales of this system: bulk systems (>1mm), nano‐ or microscale systems, and individual particle coatings. These composite systems will continue to be widely researched in the future for their vast potential in various biomedical applications. WIREs Nanomed Nanobiotechnol 2011 3 307–317 DOI: 10.1002/wnan.138 This article is categorized under: Diagnostic Tools > Biosensing Therapeutic Approaches and Drug Discovery > Emerging Technologies

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Near‐infrared light (650–900 nm) is of particular interest in biological applications as it is minimally absorbed by biological chromophores and water. (Reprinted with permission from Ref 11. Copyright 2001 Macmillan Publishers Ltd)

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Hydrogel coating by surfactant‐free emulsion polymerization (SFEP). (a) TEM images of (A) bare nanoshells (diameter ∼120 nm); (B) thin hydrogel‐coated nanoshells (diameter ∼160 nm); (C) thick hydrogel‐coated nanoshells; and (D) multiple encapsulated nanoshells. (b) UV–Vis spectra of gold‐seeded silica cores, bare nanoshells, and hydrogel‐coated nanoshells. (c) Hydrodynamic diameters of bare nanoshells and hydrogel‐coated nanoshells as a function of temperature. (Reprinted with permission from Ref 36. Copyright 2008 Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Engineering Cluster)

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Schematic of drug delivery from magnetically triggered nanogel composite membrane. (Reprinted with permission from Ref 52. Copyright 2009 American Chemical Society)

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T‐junction in a microfluidic device formed by two valves: one made of a gold‐colloid nanocomposite hydrogel and one made of a gold nanoshell composite hydrogel. (a) After the entire device is illuminated with 532 nm light for 5 seconds, the gold‐colloid channel opened and the gold nanoshell channel remained closed. (b) The opposite response is seen when the device is illuminated with 832 nm light. (Reprinted with permission from Ref 24. Copyright 2005 Wiley‐VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA)

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Schematic of drug delivery from bulk hydrogels.

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By altering gold–silica nanoshell core:shell ratios, optical tunability can be obtained. A thinner shell causes a red shift in absorbance. (Reprinted with permission from Ref 6. Copyright 2006 Spring Science + Business Media)

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Therapeutic Approaches and Drug Discovery > Emerging Technologies
Diagnostic Tools > Biosensing

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