Exploring gold nanoparticle interactions with proteins and the tumor microenvironment in biological systems

Li Tian, Ashley Chang, Marites P. Melancon


Gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) have been widely studied as a theranostics agent, especially in the field of cancer treatment and diagnosis, due to their versatile physical and chemical properties (1). Their physical properties make them a good imaging enhancer under different modalities, including x-ray and computed tomography. Their surface plasmon resonance enables them to be combined with newer technologies, including photoacoustic imaging and thermal ablation. Their versatility in synthesis means that AuNPs can be different sizes and shapes, including colloidal gold nanoparticles, nanorods, nanostars, and nanoshells. Common surface modifications are achieved via gold-thiol bond conjugation, and this is a widely applied method of delivering anticancer drugs.