Gold Nanocages as Photothermal Transducers for Cancer Treatment


  • This work was supported in part by a Director's Pioneer Award from the NIH (DP1 OD000798) and startup funds from Washington University in St. Louis (to Y.X.), as well as a Research Development Award from the Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine (to J.C.). Siteman is supported by Grant P30 CA91842 from the NIH. The Inveon small animal PET/CT system, a component of the Siteman Small Animal Cancer Imaging Core, was acquired using an NIH-NCRR shared instrumentation grant (S10 RR025097, to R. L.). Part of the work was performed at the Nano Research Facility (NRF), a member of the National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network (NNIN), which is supported by the NSF under award no. ECS-0335765. J.C. and C.G. contributed equally to the work.


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Gold nanocages represent a new class of nanomaterials with compact size and tunable optical properties in the near-infrared region. They passively accumulate in the tumor after intravenous injection. By exposing tumors to a near-infrared diode laser, the photothermal effect of the Au nanocages selectively destroys tumor tissue with minimum damage to the surrounding healthy tissue.