Targeting gold nanoparticles for cancer diagnostics and therapeutics
Gold nanoparticles are particularly appealing for cancer medicine because of their plasmonic optical properties that can be exploited for both diagnostic and therapeutic purposes, along with their established biocompatibility and ease of surface modification. Additionally, a variety of targeting moieties has been incorporated on gold nanostructures to achieve high cancer cell specificity and potentially enhanced tumor uptake in vivo. Here we describe the synthesis of four gold nanoparticle types: gold colloid, gold-silica nanoshells, gold-gold sulfide nanoparticles, and gold nanorods. Each of these four particles has demonstrated success in both optical imaging and photothermal ablation of cancer. Methods by which each particle can be conjugated to targeting proteins, characterized for their degree of protein conjugation, and then evaluated for their potential to bind cell surface markers overexpressed on tumor cells is also discussed. Copyright © 2012 American Chemical Society.