Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 55, Issue 2, pp 738–747 | Cite as

Drug self-gating fluorescent nanoparticles for pH-responsive doxorubicin delivery

  • Guoling LiEmail author
  • Bo Yang
  • Chuantao Gu
Materials for life sciences


Intelligent drug delivery systems have attracted great attention in the field of biomedicine and cancer diagnosis. In this work, a drug delivery system that can be gated by doxorubicin itself and together with pH-responsive ability has been designed and prepared based on the upconversion nanoparticles. The drug delivery system is a special core–shell structure, consisting of upconversion nanoparticle core and mesoporous silica shell. The new system tactfully bypasses the use of auxiliary capping agents and exhibits desirable drug release at pH = 5, enhancing HeLa cells inhibition. The introduction of Schiff base plays a key role in the process of achieving pH-responsive drug release. Moreover, upconversion nanoparticles could emit bright yellow-green fluorescence (540 nm) under the irradiation of near-infrared light (980 nm) for in vivo bioimaging. This characteristic provides the possibility of locating tumor tissues and real-time tracing drug delivery.



Bo Yang and Guoling Li contributed equally in this work. This work is financially supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (51804174), Natural Science Foundation of Shandong Province (ZR2017BEE010), and General Financial Grant from China Postdoctoral (2017M612203).

Supplementary material

10853_2019_4020_MOESM1_ESM.docx (258 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 257 kb)


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Materials Science and EngineeringQingdao UniversityQingdaoChina

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