John Garner

PLGA from PolySciTech used to develop Au coated nanoparticle for HIFU therapy

Blog Post created by John Garner on Aug 17, 2015

PolySciTech ( provides a wide array of PLGA and related polymers.  One diagnostic and treatment method for cancer is to apply gold nanoparticles. Gold nanoparticles are relatively inert and by themselves have no therapeutic effect, however if they are delivered selectively to a tumor then they can serve as a contrast agent as they are easily observed by ultrasound techniques. With the application of High-intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) the particles can be heated remotely killing the tumor by overheating it. Recently, PLGA from PolySciTech (AP059) was used to prepare a polydopamine modified nanoparticle to deliver gold nanoparticles to tumor sites. Testing indicated that this technique holds promise for use as both a diagnostic contrast as well as a HIFU based therapeutic system. Read more: Xi, Juqun, Xiaodong Qian, Kehong Qian, Wanying Zhang, Wen He, Yan Chen, Jie Han, YuZhen Zhang, XiangJun Yang, and Lei Fan. "Au nanoparticle-coated, PLGA-based hybrid capsules for combined ultrasound imaging and HIFU therapy." Journal of Materials Chemistry B 3, no. 20 (2015): 4213-4220.

  “Herein, we present a simple method to prepare Au nanoparticle-coated, polydopamine-modified poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (AuNPs@PDA/PLGA) hybrid capsules for combined ultrasound imaging and high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) therapy. In this approach, PLGA nanocapsules are prepared firstly via a facile and efficient water/oil/water (W/O/W) emulsion strategy, and are then modified with PDA through the self-polymerization of dopamine in a weakly alkaline aqueous environment. Subsequently, chloroauric acid (HAuCl4) solution is added, and AuCl4− ions are absorbed on the surfaces of the PDA/PLGA nanocapsules by the active catechol and amine groups of PDA coatings. Finally, these absorbed AuCl4− ions are reduced in situ to AuNPs to form AuNPs@PDA/PLGA hybrid capsules. The in vitro ultrasound imaging experiments show that AuNPs@PDA/PLGA hybrid capsules are suitable for ultrasound contrast imaging. Moreover, the potential of the nanocapsules to enhance HIFU therapy is also demonstrated. These results show that ultrasound-guided HIFU therapy ex vivo with AuNPs@PDA/PLGA hybrid capsules is highly efficient on degassed bovine livers due to the high thermal energy accumulation of AuNPs. Thus, the successful integration of the AuNPs and PLGA nanocapsules provides an alternative strategy for highly efficient ultrasound-guided HIFU therapy.”

Xi, 2015 AU-nanoparticle delivery.png