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© 2016 American Chemical Society. The photocleaving dynamics of colloidal microRNA-functionalized nanoparticles are studied using time-dependent second harmonic generation (SHG) measurements. Model drug-delivery systems composed of oligonucleotides attached to either silver nanoparticles or polystyrene nanoparticles using a nitrobenzyl photocleavable linker are prepared and characterized. The photoactivated controlled release is observed to be most efficient on resonance at 365 nm irradiation, with pseudo-first-order rate constants that are linearly proportional to irradiation powers. Additionally, silver nanoparticles show a 6-fold plasmon enhancement in photocleaving efficiency over corresponding polystyrene nanoparticle rates, while our previous measurements on gold nanoparticles show a 2-fold plasmon enhancement compared to polystyrene nanoparticles. Characterizations including extinction spectroscopy, electrophoretic mobility, and fluorimetry measurements confirm the analysis from the SHG results. The real-time SHG measurements are shown to be a highly sensitive method for investigating plasmon-enhanced photocleaving dynamics in model drug delivery systems.

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