Synthesis and Dynamics of Biocompatible Nanomotors for Biomedical Applications
Janus nanoparticles' surfaces have two distinct halves comprised of different materials. The interest in use of hybrid nanoparticles with Janus structure such as Au-SiO2 nanoparticles has increased continuously as they bring the advantage of combining the properties of both gold and silica nanoparticles. Both of these components have been proven to be biologically compatible. It has also been shown that combining gold with inorganic materials can help with problems previously observed with aggregation. In addition, SiO2 offers the benefit of having a surface that can be easily modified. In this research we plan to functionalize half of the Janus Au-SiO2 nanoparticle by adding carboxyl groups to the portion made up of SiO2. The purpose of this functionalization is to later conjugate enzymes to the surface of this nanoparticle using carboxyl groups as linkers. The enzymes can then be activated to provide directed movement to the nanoparticle by means of catalytic propulsion. The result will be a biocompatible self-propelled nanomotor that could serve many diverse functions in biomedicine. Particle transport with and without activation will be conducted on a microfluidic device and confocal laser scanning microscopy, to elucidate the role of viscous forces present in complex media and important diffusive times scales.