Redox- and pH-controlled mechanized nanoparticles

Niveen M. Khashab, Ali Trabolsi, Yuen A. Lau, Michael W. Ambrogio, Douglas C. Friedman, Hussam A. Khatib, Jeffrey I. Zink, J. Fraser Stoddart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A new class of mechanized silica nanoparticles, which exploits the stability of the inclusion complexes formed between ferrocenedicarboxylic acid and both cucurbit[7]uril (CB7) and β-cyclodextrin (β-CD), are described. Mesoporous silica nanoparticles, capable of storing a payload of small molecules and releasing it following particular activation processes, have been designed and decorated with ferrocenecarboxylic acid stalks. The storage and release of the payload is controlled by the host-guest, interaction between the ferrocene moiety (guest) and the ring moiety (CB7 or β- CD). Ferrocene-based Mechanized NanoParticles (FMNPs) were efficiently prepared, loaded with Rhodamine dye, and then tested under different activation procedures. The systems operated successfully under redox control (oxidation of ferrocenedicarboxylic acid) in the presence of β-CD and under pH control (deprotonation of ferrocenedicarboxylic acid pH > 4) in the presence of CB7.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1669-1673
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Organic Chemistry
Issue number11
StatePublished - Apr 2009


  • Cucurbit[7]uril
  • Ferrocene
  • Nanoparticles
  • Redox chemistry
  • β-cyclodextrin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry


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