A translational approach to assess the metabolomic impact of stabilized gold nanoparticles by NMR spectroscopy
Gold nanoparticles have high potential in the biomedical area, especially in disease diagnosis and treatment. The application of these nanoparticles requires the presence of stabilizers to avoid their agglomeration. Nowadays, there is a lack of reliable methods for characterising the effect of stabilised nanoparticles on biological systems. To this end, in this study, we apply an experimental approach based on nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy to study the effect of gold nanoparticles, stabilised with cerium oxide or chitosan, on a human cancer cell model. The results showed that both systems have a significant effect, even at non-toxic levels, on the cellular antioxidant system. However, although particles functionalised with chitosan exerted a strong effect on the aerobic respiration, nanoparticles stabilised with cerium oxide had a higher impact on the mechanisms associated with anaerobic energy production. Therefore, even though both systems contained similar gold nanoparticles, the presence of different stabilizers strongly influenced their mode of action and potential applications in biomedicine.