[Nature Communications] Light-driven liquid metal nanotransformers for biomedical theranostics
Room temperature liquid metals (LMs) represent a class of emerging multifunctional materials with attractive novel properties. Here, we show that photopolymerized LMs present a unique nanoscale capsule structure characterized by high water dispersibility and low toxicity. We also demonstrate that the LM nanocapsule generates heat and reactive oxygen species under biologically neutral near-infrared (NIR) laser irradiation. Concomitantly, NIR laser exposure induces a transformation in LM shape, destruction of the nanocapsules, contactless controlled release of the loaded drugs, optical manipulations of a microfluidic blood vessel model and spatiotemporal targeted marking for X-ray-enhanced imaging in biological organs and a living mouse. By exploiting the physicochemical properties of LMs, we achieve effective cancer cell elimination and control of intercellular calcium ion flux. In addition, LMs display a photoacoustic effect in living animals during NIR laser treatment, making this system a powerful tool for bioimaging.
Svetlana A. Chechetka, Yue Yu, Xu Zhen, Manojit Pramanik, Kanyi Pu & Eijiro Miyako Nature Communications 8, Article number: 15432 (2017) doi:10.1038/ncomms15432