Engineered gold nanoparticles for photothermal cancer therapy and bacteria killing
Over recent decades, one of the most important and complex problems facing our society is the multi-drug resistance of human cancer cells and pathogens to most clinically approved therapeutics. Recent advances in nanoscience and nanotechnology have expanded our ability to design and construct nanomaterials with targeting, therapeutic, and diagnostic functions. These multifunctional materials have gained attention as promising tools for selective cancer/bacteria therapy in the absence of current drugs. Photothermal therapy (PTT) is a minimally invasive therapy in which photon energy is converted into heat in order to kill cancer cells. Gold nanoparticles (GNPs) with a high light-to-heat conversion capability are among the most important candidates for PTT. GNP-assisted PTT has shown great success in recent years, suggesting promise for future applications. In this review, we will discuss the current status of GNPs in the photothermal treatment of cancer and bacterial conditions. The review starts with an outline of recent developments in the various methods used for the size- and shape-controlled synthesis of GNPs, followed by a discussion of the modification of GNPs using suitable protecting and functionalizing agents. We will then consider therapeutic outcomes of different types of GNP-assisted PTT in cancer therapy and bactericide through a comprehensive review of the most important results obtained both in vivo and in vitro. The advantages and disadvantages of methods for developing different-shaped GNPs, variations in irradiation conditions, the use of PTT in combination with other therapeutic methods, and a comparison between the PTT efficacies of different-shaped GNPs will also be discussed in detail.