Fabrication of α-cyclodextrin/polypeptide micellar gold nanoshell for synergistic photothermal-chemotherapy

  • Xingjie WuEmail author
  • Mengkui TianEmail author
Research Paper


Taking the advantage of host-guest interaction between α-cyclodextrin (α-CD) and polyethylene glycol (PEG), polypeptide micelle with polycysteine chain located at micelle corona was prepared. The structure of the micelle was demonstrated by WAXD, NMR, and TEM analyses. Then, HAuCl4 was reduced to Au0 by formaldehyde under alkaline condition. The obtained Au0 was simultaneously captured by thiol groups at micelle surface to form gold nanoshell structure. WAXD, XPS, and TEM were applied to confirm the structure of the micellar gold nanoshell, the Au-S bonding, and the template effect of the micelle. The micellar gold nanoshell displayed strong near-infrared (NIR) photothermal conversion property. With 0.63 mg/mL micellar gold nanoshell, the solution temperature was elevated by 31.8 °C upon NIR laser (808 nm, 2 W/cm2, 5 min) irradiation. According to flow cytometry and fluorescence microscopy results, the micellar gold nanoshell could readily be internalized by HeLa cell and prohibit HeLa cell proliferation by NIR light-mediated photothermal therapy. The DOX-loaded micellar gold nanoshell displayed a half maximal inhibition concentration of 48.1 μg/mL for combined photothermal-chemotherapy with a combination index of 0.80. This study developed a novel method for preparing biodegradable nano-template with abundant thiol groups at the surface and a facile procedure for forming gold nanoshell at nano-template surface with synergistic anticancer efficacy.


Polypeptide α-CD Hybrid gold nanoshell Synergistic effect Photothermal therapy 



The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: this research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 21663009) and the Program for Excellent Youth Talents of Guizhou Province [No. (2017)5605].

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Chemistry and Chemical EngineeringGuizhou UniversityGuiyangPeople’s Republic of China

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