"Thunderstruck": Plasma-Polymer-Coated Porous Silicon Microparticles As a Controlled Drug Delivery System

Steven J.P. McInnes, Thomas D. Michl, Bahman Delalat, Sameer A. Al-Bataineh, Bryan R. Coad, Krasimir Vasilev, Hans J. Griesser, Nicolas H. Voelcker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Controlling the release kinetics from a drug carrier is crucial to maintain a drug"s therapeutic window. We report the use of biodegradable porous silicon microparticles (pSi MPs) loaded with the anticancer drug camphothecin, followed by a plasma polymer overcoating using a loudspeaker plasma reactor. Homogenous "Teflon-like" coatings were achieved by tumbling the particles by playing AC/DC"s song "Thunderstruck". The overcoating resulted in a markedly slower release of the cytotoxic drug, and this effect correlated positively with the plasma polymer coating times, ranging from 2-fold up to more than 100-fold. Ultimately, upon characterizing and verifying pSi MP production, loading, and coating with analytical methods such as time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry, scanning electron microscopy, thermal gravimetry, water contact angle measurements, and fluorescence microscopy, human neuroblastoma cells were challenged with pSi MPs in an in vitro assay, revealing a significant time delay in cell death onset.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4467-4476
Number of pages10
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 24 Feb 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • controlled drug release
  • fluorinated coating
  • particle coating
  • plasma polymerization
  • porous silicon


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