Development of gold-core silica shell nanospheres coated with poly-2-ethyl-oxazoline and β-cyclodextrin aimed for cancer therapy

Catarina A. Reis, Carolina F. Rodrigues, André F. Moreira, Telma A. Jacinto, Paula Ferreira, Ilídio J. Correia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Cancer is one of the major world public health problems and the currently available treatments are nonspecific and ineffective. This reality highlights the importance of developing novel therapeutic approaches. In this field, multifunctional nanomedicines have the potential to revolutionize the currently available treatments. These unique nanodevices can simultaneously act as therapeutic and imaging agents allowing the real-time monitoring of the nanoparticles biodistribution and the treatment outcome. Among the different nanoparticles, the gold-core silica shell (AuMSS) nanoparticles advantageous physicochemical and biological properties make them promising nanoplatforms for cancer therapy. Nevertheless, their successful application as an effective cancer nanomedicine is limited by the unfavorable pharmacokinetics and uncontrolled release of the therapeutic payloads. Herein, a new polymeric coating for AuMSS nanospheres was developed by combining different ratios (25/75, 50/50 and 75/25) of two materials, Poly-2-ethyl-2-oxazoline (PEOZ) and β-cyclodextrin (β-CD). The surface functionalization of AuMSS nanospheres led to a size increase and to the neutralization of the surface charge. On the other side, the nanoparticles biological performance was improved. The coated AuMSS nanospheres showed an increased cytocompatibility and internalization rate by the HeLa cancer cells. Overall, the obtained data confirm the successful modification of the AuMSS nanospheres with PEOZ and β-CD as well as their promising properties for being applied in cancer therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)960-968
Number of pages9
JournalMaterials Science and Engineering C
Publication statusPublished - May 2019


  • Cancer
  • Gold nanoparticles
  • Poly-2-ethyl-2-oxazoline
  • Silica
  • β-Cyclodextrin


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