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Issue 37, 2018
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Plasmonic targeting of cancer cells in a three-dimensional natural hydrogel

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Abstract

Using specifically designed gold nanoparticles and local laser irradiation, individual cells and small cell clusters could be targeted on a microscopic scale with minimal toxicity to nearby tissue. To date, most scientific studies and technological demonstrations of this approach were conducted on two-dimensional cultures, while most feasibility tests and preclinical trials were conducted using animal models. For bridging the gap between two-dimensional cell cultures and animal experiments, we propose and demonstrate the use of a natural hydrogel for studying the effect of intense, ultrashort laser pulses on a gold nanoparticle targeted tissue. Using illumination parameters comparable to those used with two-dimensional cultures, we show the complete eradication of multilayered cell colonies comprising normal fibroblasts and malignant epithelial cells co-cultured on a hydrogel scaffold. By evaluating the extent of cell damage for various pulse durations at off-resonance irradiation, we find that the observed damage mechanism was dominated by rapid thermal transitions around the gold nanospheres, rather than by photoionization. The work provides a new tool for understanding the complex pulse–particle–tissue interactions and demonstrates the important role of nanoparticle mediated cavitation bubbles in a thick, multilayered tissue.

Graphical abstract: Plasmonic targeting of cancer cells in a three-dimensional natural hydrogel

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Publication details

The article was received on 25 Apr 2018, accepted on 24 Aug 2018 and first published on 25 Aug 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8NR03391A
Citation: Nanoscale, 2018,10, 17807-17813
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    Plasmonic targeting of cancer cells in a three-dimensional natural hydrogel

    L. Minai, M. Hamra and D. Yelin, Nanoscale, 2018, 10, 17807
    DOI: 10.1039/C8NR03391A

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