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Issue 23, 2014
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Gold nanorod-seeded synthesis of Au@Ag/Au nanospheres with broad and intense near-infrared absorption for photothermal cancer therapy

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Abstract

As a widely-adopted agent for photothermal therapy (PTT), gold nanorods (Au NRs) remain problematic due to the cytotoxicity derived from cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) and the comparatively weak and narrow near-infrared (NIR) absorption band. To address this problem, in this study, we propose a shape-controllable and spectrum-adjustable method of synthesis for Au@Ag/Au nanoparticles (NPs) through first coating a Ag nanolayer on the Au NR seed and a subsequent replacement reaction with HAuCl4 to yield a Ag/Au alloy nanoshell. Results from TEM and UV-vis spectra analysis showed that the thickness of the Ag layers directly determined the shape and size of the NPs, and the formation of Ag/Au nanoshells effectively enhanced the NIR absorbance of the NPs. Remarkably, the optimum Au@Ag/Au nanospheres (NSs) with a diameter of ∼40 nm were revealed to have a broad and intense absorption cross section from 400 to 1100 nm, a ∼4.7 times higher hyperthermic effect than Au NRs, and low dark-cytotoxicity. By using A549 lung cancer as the model, a series of in vitro investigations was performed and demonstrated that Au@Ag/Au NSs could efficaciously kill cancer cells under a 980 nm irradiation. The efficacy of PTT could be further improved by increasing the concentration, incubation time or irradiation time of the NSs. Moreover, a preliminary in vivo study also showed that, after injection into the A549 tumor, Au@Ag/Au NSs could cause an obvious necrosis at the irradiation site. Thus, a novel, promising and highly-effective NIR PTT agent has been developed, which might greatly advance the application of PTT in biomedical research.

Graphical abstract: Gold nanorod-seeded synthesis of Au@Ag/Au nanospheres with broad and intense near-infrared absorption for photothermal cancer therapy

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Publication details

The article was received on 07 Feb 2014, accepted on 16 Apr 2014 and first published on 17 Apr 2014


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C4TB00202D
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Citation: J. Mater. Chem. B, 2014,2, 3667-3673
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    Gold nanorod-seeded synthesis of Au@Ag/Au nanospheres with broad and intense near-infrared absorption for photothermal cancer therapy

    X. Ye, H. Shi, X. He, K. Wang, D. Li and P. Qiu, J. Mater. Chem. B, 2014, 2, 3667
    DOI: 10.1039/C4TB00202D

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