Dual stimuli-sensitive dendrimers: Photothermogenic gold nanoparticle-loaded thermo-responsive elastin-mimetic dendrimers

Daichi Fukushima, Ugir Hossain Sk, Yasuhiro Sakamoto, Ikuhiko Nakase, Chie Kojima

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Dendrimers are synthetic macromolecules with unique structures that can work as nanoplatforms for both photothermogenic gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) and thermosensitive elastin-like peptides (ELPs) with valine-proline-glycine-valine-glycine (VPGVG) repeats. In this study, photothermogenic AuNPs were loaded into thermo-responsive elastin-mimetic dendrimers (dendrimers conjugating ELPs at their periphery) to produce dual stimuli-sensitive nanoparticles. Polyamidoamine G4 dendrimers were modified with acetylated VPGVG and (VPGVG)2, and the resulting materials were named ELP1-den and ELP2-den, respectively. The AuNPs were prepared by the reduction of Au ions using a dendrimer-nanotemplated method. The AuNP-loaded elastin-mimetic dendrimers exhibited photothermal properties. ELP1-den and ELP2-den showed similar temperature-dependent changes in their conformations. Phase transitions were observed at around 55°C and 35°C for the AuNP-loaded ELP1-den and AuNP-loaded ELP2-den, respectively, but not for the corresponding PEGylated dendrimer. In contrast to the AuNP-loaded PEGylated dendrimer, AuNP-loaded ELP2-den readily associated with cells and induced efficient photocytotoxicity at 37°C. The cell association and the photocytotoxicity properties of AuNP-loaded ELP2-den could be controlled by temperature. These results therefore suggest that dual stimuli-sensitive dendrimer nanoparticles of this type could be used for photothermal therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-160
Number of pages6
JournalColloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Aug 1
Externally publishedYes


  • Dendrimer
  • Elastin
  • Gold nanoparticle
  • Photosensitive
  • Photothermal therapy
  • Thermosensitive

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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