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Facile Fabrication of Magnetic Microrobots Based on Spirulina Templates for Targeted Delivery and Synergistic Chemo-Photothermal Therapy

Wang, Xu, Cai, Jun, Sun, Lili, Zhang, Shuo, Gong, De, Li, Xinghao, Yue, Shuhua, Feng, Lin, Zhang, Deyuan
ACS applied materials & interfaces 2019 v.11 no.5 pp. 4745-4756
Spirulina, doxorubicin, iron oxides, irradiation, magnetic fields, nanoparticles, near-infrared spectroscopy, pH, photochemotherapy, sol-gel processing
Magnetic microrobots can be actuated in fuel-free conditions and are envisioned for biomedical applications related to targeted delivery and therapy in a minimally invasive manner. However, mass fabrication of microrobots with precise propulsion performance and excellent therapeutic efficacy is still challenging, especially in a predictable and controllable manner. Herein, we propose a facile technique for mass production of magnetic microrobots with multiple functions using Spirulina (Sp.) as biotemplate. Core–shell-structured Pd@Au nanoparticles (NPs) were synthesized in Sp. cells by electroless deposition, working as photothermal conversion agents. Subsequently, the Fe₃O₄ NPs were deposited onto the surface of the obtained (Pd@Au)@Sp. particles via a sol–gel process, enabling them to be magnetically actuated. Moreover, the anticancer drug doxorubicin (DOX) was loaded on the (Pd@Au)/Fe₃O₄@Sp. microrobots, which endows them with additional chemotherapeutic efficacy. The as-prepared biohybrid (Pd@Au)/Fe₃O₄@Sp.-DOX microrobots not only possess efficient propulsion performance with the highest speed of 526.2 μm/s under a rotating magnetic field but also have enhanced synergistic chemo-photothermal therapeutic efficacy. Furthermore, they can be structurally disassembled into individual particles under near-infrared (NIR) laser irradiation and exhibit pH- and NIR-triggered drug release. These intriguing properties enable the microrobots to be a very promising and efficient platform for drug loading, targeted delivery, and chemo-photothermal therapy.