Enhanced radiation therapy with internalized polyelectrolyte modified nanoparticles
A challenge of X-ray radiation therapy is that high dose X-ray under therapeutic conditions damages normal cells. This paper describes a nanoparticle-based method to enhance X-ray radiation therapy by delivering radio-sensitizing gold nanoparticles into cancer cells. The nanoparticles have been modified with cationic polyelectrolytes to allow internalization. Upon X-ray irradiation of nanoparticles, more photoelectrons and Auger electrons are generated to cause water ionization, leading to formation of free radicals that damage DNA of cancer cells. The X-ray dose required for DNA damage and cell killing is reduced by delivering gold nanoparticles inside cancer cells.