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Crystalline Assembly of Gold Nanoclusters for Mitochondria Targeted Cancer Theranostics


Herein we report the formation of crystalline assembly of gold (Au) nanoclusters for cancer theranostics via active targeting of mitochondria. To the best of our knowledge this is the first report of target specific activity of “assembly of gold nanoclusters”. Au14 nanoclusters were stabilized with mercaptopropionic acid and L tyrosine. Limited solubility of L tyrosine in methanolic solution led to formation of polycrystalline assembly of Au nanoclusters via interactions between ligands (tyrosine) stabilizing the clusters. Further, complexation reaction between zinc ions and ligands stabilizing Au nanoclusters led to formation of single crystalline assembly of gold nanoclusters. Transmission electron microscopy and selected area electron diffraction analyses revealed the formation of faceted crystals with hexagonal arrangement of Au14 nanoclusters. A theoretical structure of the crystalline complex of Au nanoclusters and zinc ions has been proposed herein based on experimental observations and computational optimization. Crystalline assembly of Au nanoclusters, formed via ligand association as well as complexation reaction, exhibited mitochondria targeted anti-cancer activity - as verified by Mito tracker staining experiments. However, MTT assay, FACS analysis and JC-1 staining experiments revealed that zinc mediated assembly of Au nanoclusters exhibited superior therapeutic action as compared to methanol driven assembly of the clusters.

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Publication details

The article was received on 17 Dec 2017, accepted on 07 Feb 2018 and first published on 07 Feb 2018

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7TB03254D
Citation: J. Mater. Chem. B, 2018, Accepted Manuscript
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    Crystalline Assembly of Gold Nanoclusters for Mitochondria Targeted Cancer Theranostics

    S. Basu, U. Goswami, A. Paul and A. Chattopadhyay, J. Mater. Chem. B, 2018, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C7TB03254D

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