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Gold nanorod decorated with cancer drug for multimodal imaging and therapy


Cancer, a condition with uncontrolled cell division is the second leading cause of death worldwide. The currently available techniques for the imaging and treatment of cancer have their own limitations and hence a combination of more than one modality is expected to increase the efficacy of both diagnosis and treatment. In the present study, we have developed a multimodal imaging and therapeutic system by incorporating a chemotherapeutic drug, mitoxantrone(MTX) onto PEG coated gold nanorods (GNR). Strong absorption in the near-infrared and visible region qualifies GNR as an efficient photo thermal (PTT) agent upon irradiation with either NIR or visible laser. Additionally, enhanced electric field of GNR makes it a suitable substrate for surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS). Modification of GNR with amino PEG offers biocompatability without affecting its optical property. In order to achieve tumor specificity, GNR-PEG was conjugated with tumor specific marker that can target cancer cells, leaving the normal cells unaffected. The incorporation of fluorescent chemotherapeutic drug mitoxantrone onto GNR-PEG facilitates the chemo therapy as well as fluorescence imaging. The therapeutic efficacy of the developed GNR based system is tracked using fluorescence imaging and Raman imaging. Careful designing of the system also facilitates the controlled release of the drug by photothermal triggering. Llikewise, the imaging modality could be chosen as either Raman or fluorescence to monitor drug release in accordance with irradiation. The physico-chemical properties, and drug release profile under different physiological conditions have been well studied. Finally, the developed system was tested for the therapeutic efficacy using cancer cells, in vitro. The receptor mediated cell uptake was more effective in the folate over expressed cancer cells than in the normal and low expressed cells. Accordingly the percentage of cell death was more in folate over expressed cancer cells which further enhanced due to the effect of dual therapeutic approach. The cell uptake and treatment efficacy was monitored using the fluorescence microscopy and SERS. In conclusion, the developed GNR-PEG-MTX system is found to be an efficient multimodal therapeutic agent against cancer which could be tracked using two different techniques.

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Publication details

The article was received on 21 Aug 2017, accepted on 12 Sep 2017 and first published on 12 Sep 2017

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7FD00185A
Citation: Faraday Discuss., 2017, Accepted Manuscript
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    Gold nanorod decorated with cancer drug for multimodal imaging and therapy

    R. V. Nair, H. Santhakumar and R. S. S. Jayasree, Faraday Discuss., 2017, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C7FD00185A

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