Polyelectrolyte microcapsules are formed on porous calcium carbonate templates that are impregnated and coated with 2.9 nanometer luminescent silicon nanoparticles. The complexes are characterized in suspension as well as in thin films using fluorescence microscopy, optical microscopy, and x-ray photospectroscopy. The calcium carbonate templates are thereafter dissolved by incubation of the complexes in hydrochloric acid. Polymer layer after dissolution stays intact retaining the fraction of nanoparticles inside. Simultaneous impregnation of drug biomacromolecules and Si nanoparticles may enable sensitive optical tracking of drug delivery along with the controlled drug release upon breaking a capsule with laser irradiation or ultrasound. Impregnation of the calcium carbonate microparticles with magnetic Er-Si nanoparticle complexes may in turn enable ways for magnetic interrogation.
Yulia Maximenko is a research assistant in the lab of Munir Nayfeh at the University o Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She also holds master's and bachelor's degrees from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT). Her work centers around laser physics, biophysics and nuclear physics, and she has worked in these areas as a guest scientist at Fermilab, and as a research assistant at the Semenov Institute of Chemical Physics.
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