Acta biomaterialia

Self-assembled photoadditives in polyester films allow stop and go chemical release.

PMID 28315815


Near-infrared (NIR) triggered chemical delivery allows on-demand release with the advantage of external tissue stimulation. Bioresorbable polyester poly-l-lactic acid (PLLA) was compounded with photoadditives of neat zinc oxide (ZnO) nanoparticles and 980→365nm LiYF Upconverting nanoparticles and zinc oxide nanorods were found to spontaneously self-assemble into submicron particles in organic solvents. Exposure of the submicron particles to near-infrared light allows stop and go chemical release from biocompatible polymers. Sample preparation of thin films is done with ease through physical mixing of the photoadditives followed by air-dried knife casting. A colloidal ZnO variant that does not self-assemble with upconverting nanoparticles had slower chemical release, suggesting that synergistic chemical release is brought upon by highly efficient energy transfer mechanisms when the nanoparticles are less than 10nm apart. Never before seen composite particles of UCNP/ZnO are displayed, which shows the close interaction of the photoadditives within the polymer matrix.