Truly-biocompatible gold catalysis enables vivo-orthogonal intra-CNS release of anxiolytics

Mari Carmen Ortega Liebana, Nicola Porter, Catherine Adam, Teresa Maria Valero Grinan, Lloyd Hamilton, Dirk Sieger, Catherina Becker, Asier Unciti-Broceta*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Being recognized as the best-tolerated of all metals, the catalytic potential of gold (Au) has thus far been hindered by the ubiquitous presence of thiols in organisms. Herein we report the development of a truly-catalytic Au-polymer composite by assembling ultrasmall Au-nanoparticles at the protein-repelling outer layer of a co-polymer scaffold via electrostatic loading. Illustrating the in vivo-compatibility of the novel catalysts, we show their capacity to uncage the anxiolytic agent fluoxetine at the central nervous system (CNS) of developing zebrafish, influencing their swim pattern. This bioorthogonal strategy has enabled - for the first time - modification of cognitive activity by releasig a neuroactive agent directly in the brain of an animal.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAngewandte Chemie
Early online date3 Nov 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 3 Nov 2021


Dive into the research topics of 'Truly-biocompatible gold catalysis enables vivo-orthogonal intra-CNS release of anxiolytics'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this