Ultrafast light-activated polymeric nanomotors

Jianhong Wang, Hanglong Wu, Xiaowei Zhu, Robby Zwolsman, Stijn R.J. Hofstraat, Yudong Li, Yingtong Luo, Rick R.M. Joosten, Heiner Friedrich, Shoupeng Cao, Loai K.E.A. Abdelmohsen, Jingxin Shao (Corresponding author), Jan C.M. van Hest (Corresponding author)

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Synthetic micro/nanomotors have been extensively exploited over the past decade to achieve active transportation. This interest is a result of their broad range of potential applications, from environmental remediation to nanomedicine. Nevertheless, it still remains a challenge to build a fast-moving biodegradable polymeric nanomotor. Here we present a light-propelled nanomotor by introducing gold nanoparticles (Au NP) onto biodegradable bowl-shaped polymersomes (stomatocytes) via electrostatic and hydrogen bond interactions. These biodegradable nanomotors show controllable motion and remarkable velocities of up to 125 μm s−1. This unique behavior is explained via a thorough three-dimensional characterization of the nanomotor, particularly the size and the spatial distribution of Au NP, with cryogenic transmission electron microscopy (cryo-TEM) and cryo-electron tomography (cryo-ET). Our in-depth quantitative 3D analysis reveals that the motile features of these nanomotors are caused by the nonuniform distribution of Au NPs on the outer surface of the stomatocyte along the z-axial direction. Their excellent motile features are exploited for active cargo delivery into living cells. This study provides a new approach to develop robust, biodegradable soft nanomotors with application potential in biomedicine.

Originele taal-2Engels
Aantal pagina's11
TijdschriftNature Communications
Nummer van het tijdschrift1
StatusGepubliceerd - 7 jun. 2024


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