A novel controllable molecularly imprinted drug delivery system based on the photothermal effect of graphene oxide quantum dots

  • Yarong XuEmail author
  • Xiaoling HuEmail author
  • Ping Guan
  • Chunbao Du
  • Yuan Tian
  • Shichao Ding
  • Zhiling Li
  • Chaoren Yan
Materials for life sciences


Design and development of nanoparticle-based drug delivery systems (DDS) have always been extremely challenging due to unacceptable leakage of drug or unsatisfactory release in the lesion. Herein, we presented an effective approach for facile preparation of DDS by imprinting doxorubicin (DOX) via miniemulsion polymerization. In order to investigate the release of DOX in this system, the cumulative release of DOX by molecularly imprinted polymers (GMIPs) and non-imprinted polymers (GNIPs) was compared. The results revealed that the DOX’s leakage of GMIPs was more moderate than that of GNIPs. Moreover, after fitting the release curves with several mathematical models, it was found that the release of DOX from the GMIPs can be partially fitted with zero-order model (R2 = 0.929) which implied that molecular imprinting techniques for drug loading could reduce the common ‘burst effect.’ In addition, excellent release of DOX with controllable property was achieved by switching photothermal effect of graphene oxide quantum dots which were doped in GMIPs as the near-infrared light (NIR) window. Thus, it would be anticipated that the novel drug-loaded GMIPs combining with inductive NIR heating would be promising to be applied in the synergy of chemotherapy and thermotherapy for cancer therapy.



The authors are grateful for the financial support provided by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 51433008), and the Seed Foundation of Innovation and Creation for Graduate Students in Northwestern Polytechnical University (Grant No. ZZ2018185). In addition, the authors are grateful for the technical support provided by Analytical & Testing Center of Northwestern Polytechnical University.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Applied Chemistry, Key Laboratory of Space Applied Physics and Chemistry of Ministry of Education, School of Natural and Applied ScienceNorthwestern Polytechnical UniversityXi’anPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.College of Chemistry and Chemical EngineeringXi’an Shiyou UniversityXi’anPeople’s Republic of China

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