25-Feb-2009 - Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC)

Solvents causing a swell

Controlled release of fluorescent dye from swelling nanocapsules is leading the way in stimuli-responsive materials

Korean scientists have developed solvent-responsive polymer nanocapsules. Kimoon Kim and co-workers from Pohang University of Science and Technology and Korea University, Seoul, found that these nanocapsules swelled or deswelled in response to a change in the solvent mixture. The swelling led to an increase in the permeability of the capsule, resulting in the controlled release of an encapsulated fluorescent dye.

Hollow capsules, particularly stimuli-responsive capsules, are of considerable interest because of their potential applications in various areas including drug delivery. Kim explains that ‘although there are a number of examples of stimuli-responsive polyelectrolyte capsules, vesicles, and self-assembled synthetic capsules, stimuli-responsive cross-linked polymer capsules with controlled permeability are still rare.’

However, Kim says that designing and making these capsules for practical applications is still a challenge. ‘For such stimuli-responsive nanocapsules to be clinically useful in drug delivery or diagnostic applications, they should be non-toxic, non-immunogenic and cleared from the body after a certain period of time,’ he explains.

‘One of our ultimate goals is to develop a universal drug carrier useful in targeted drug delivery using such stimuli-responsive polymer nanocapsules with a versatile surface modification capability,’ says Kim. ‘This work is a first major step toward this goal.’

Original publication: Eunju Kim et al., Chem. Commun., 2009.

Facts, background information, dossiers
  • Korea University
  • Carrier
More about Royal Society of Chemistry
  • News

    New coating is self-defence for seeds

    Scientists in Switzerland have developed a protective coating for seeds that poisons pests with cyanide when they bite into it. The coating is a system of two layers and only becomes toxic when the layers are mixed, eliminating the problem of environmental contamination that is associated w ... more

    Using bacteria to make electrodes

    Scientists in France have produced hematite using a bacterial pathway for use as an electrode material in Li-ion technologies. Currently, most commercial electrode materials for Li-ion technologies are prepared using the ceramic method, which requires long heating periods at high temperatur ... more

    Marine plant replacement for platinum in solar cells

    An international research team has shown that that the power conversion efficiency of sea tangle extract is comparable to platinum in solar cell electrodes. Dye-sensitized solar cells (DSCs) are quickly becoming a widespread and affordable alternative to photovoltaic solar cells. The electr ... more

  • Videos

    Royal Society of Chemistry – About us

    With more than 51,000 members and an international publishing and knowledge business we are the UK’s professional body for chemical scientists, supporting and representing our members and bringing together chemical scientists from all over the world. more

    A career in toxicology

    Hear from RSC member Vicki Stone talk about her role as a Nanotoxicologist. more

    When Food met Pharma: Delivery Strategies for Nutraceuticals

    With growing prevalence of lifestyle-associated diseases, including obesity, Type II diabetes and cardiovascular disease, there is an urgent need and demand to try to prevent the onset of these diseases within our growing population. Nutraceuticals, along with appropriate diet and exercise, ... more

  • Companies

    Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC)

    The RSC is a leading international publisher of highly regarded journals and books in the chemical sciences. The RSC is also the professional body for chemists with a global membership of over 46,000. more

More about POSTECH
  • News

    New game-changing zeolite catalysts synthesized

    A research team at POSTECH has uncovered a promising new zeolite, anticipated to be a turning point for the oil refining and petrochemical industries. The team of researchers led by Suk Bong Hong, a professor in the Division of Environmental Science and Engineering at POSTECH, synthesized t ... more

    The secret of catalysts that increase fuel cell efficiency

    Fuel cells, which are attracting attention as an eco-friendly energy source, obtain electricity and heat simultaneously through the reverse reaction of water electrolysis. Therefore, the catalyst that enhances the reaction efficiency is directly connected to the performance of the fuel cell ... more

    Charging electric cars up to 90% in 6 minutes

    With Telsa in the lead, the electric vehicle market is growing around the world. Unlike conventional cars that use internal combustion engines, electric cars are solely powered by lithium ion batteries, so the battery performance defines the car's overall performance. However, slow charging ... more