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Published March 26, 2013 | Accepted Version + Supplemental Material
Journal Article Open

Comparison Study of Gold Nanohexapods, Nanorods, and Nanocages for Photothermal Cancer Treatment


Gold nanohexapods represent a novel class of optically tunable nanostructures consisting of an octahedral core and six arms grown on its vertices. By controlling the length of the arms, their localized surface plasmon resonance peaks could be tuned from the visible to the near-infrared region for deep penetration of light into soft tissues. Herein we compare the in vitro and in vivo capabilities of Au nanohexapods as photothermal transducers for theranostic applications by benchmarking against those of Au nanorods and nanocages. While all these Au nanostructures could absorb and convert near-infrared light into heat, Au nanohexapods exhibited the highest cellular uptake and the lowest cytotoxicity in vitro for both the as-prepared and PEGylated nanostructures. In vivo pharmacokinetic studies showed that the PEGylated Au nanohexapods had significant blood circulation and tumor accumulation in a mouse breast cancer model. Following photothermal treatment, substantial heat was produced in situ and the tumor metabolism was greatly reduced for all these Au nanostructures, as determined with ^(18)F-flourodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography (^(18)F-FDG PET/CT). Combined together, we can conclude that Au nanohexapods are promising candidates for cancer theranostics in terms of both photothermal destruction and contrast-enhanced diagnosis.

Additional Information

© 2013 American Chemical Society. Received for review September 18, 2012 and accepted February 5, 2013. Published online February 6, 2013. This work was supported by a grant from the NCI (R01 CA138527). M.L. was an REU student from Duke University, and he was supported by the NSF NNIN program. We thank the Division of Comparative Medicine Research Animal Diagnostic Laboratory at Washington University School of Medicine for histology analysis. The authors declare no competing financial interest.

Attached Files

Accepted Version - nihms444620.pdf

Supplemental Material - nn304332s_si_001.pdf


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