This critical review provides an overall survey of the basic concepts and up-to-date literature results concerning the very promising use of gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) for medicinal applications. It includes AuNP synthesis, assembly and conjugation with biological and biocompatible ligands, plasmon-based labeling and imaging, optical and electrochemical sensing, diagnostics, therapy (drug vectorization and DNA/gene delivery) for various diseases, in particular cancer (also Alzheimer, HIV, hepatitis, tuberculosis, arthritis, diabetes) and the essential in vitro and in vivo toxicity. It will interest the medicine, chemistry, spectroscopy, biochemistry, biophysics and nanoscience communities (211 references).
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