Analytical sciences : the international journal of the Japan Society for Analytical Chemistry

Release of Nile red from thermoresponsive gold nanocomposites by heating a solution and the addition of glutathione.

PMID 23232230


Thermoresponsive gold nanocomposites encapsulating Nile red were fabricated by the conjugation of gold nanoparticles containing Nile red with a thermoresponsive polymer, poly(N-isopropylacrylamide(90 mol%)-co-N-acryloyldiethylenetriamine(10 mol%)). They were then examined as a model of drug delivery carriers and colloidal fluorescence sensors. Nile red, as a fluorophore to be released, was introduced to the surface of gold nanoparticles prior to conjugation with thermoresponsive polymers. Heating a solution at 90°C resulted in shrinkage of the thermoresponsive polymers, which facilitated disassembly of the gold nanocomposites in the presence of glutathione. This disassembly caused a replacement of Nile red with glutathione at the surface of the gold nanoparticles, followed by the release of Nile red from the gold nanocomposites. Nile red liberated from the gold surface recovered its inherent fluorescence properties that had been quenched by gold nanoparticles through fluorescence resonance energy transfer. The fluorescence intensity of the liberated Nile red increased linearly as the glutathione concentration increased up to 1.0 × 10(-5) mol/L, demonstrating that thermoresponsive gold nanocomposites can be used as colloidal sensors or drug delivery carriers that can be manipulated by the concentration of glutathione and the solution temperature. The applicability of the thermoresponsive gold nanocomposites to colloidal fluorescence probes was also checked by assay of glutathione in tablets.