Polymer encapsulation of inorganic nanoparticles for biomedical applications

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Graphical abstractHybrid inorganic colloidal particles have attracted a great attention in the last years, and they have been largely used in various applications and more particularly in biomedical nanotechnology. Recently, they are used as carriers for biomolecules, and exploited for use in microsystems, microfluidics and in lab-on-a chip based bionanotechnology. Various kinds of hybrid particles can be listed starting from classical inorganic nanoparticles such as silica, gold, silver, iron oxide and those exhibiting intrinsic properties such as semiconducting nanoparticles (e.g. quantum dots). As a general tendency, to be conveniently used in biomedical applications, the encapsulation of the inorganic nanoparticles in a polymer matrix is incontestably needed. Consequently, various chemistry-based encapsulation processes have been developed and showed promising results as compared to the encapsulation using preformed polymers.

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