Gold nanorod stabilized by thiolated chitosan as photothermal absorber for cancer cell treatment

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Gold nanorod (GNR) has great potential in the field of cancer therapy because of its photophysical property in converting near-infrared (NIR) laser light into heat. Fabrication of GNRs by seedmediated growth method with the aid of cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) is a popular approach. However, due to high cytotoxicity of CTAB, it is necessary to modify the surface of CTAB-passivated GNRs for cell-related studies. In this study, thiolated chitosan was synthesized and harnessed to replace CTAB originally used to stabilize GNRs. The average size and morphological shape of CTAB-passivated GNRs (66.0 nm) and thiolated chitosan-modified GNRs (CGNRs) (84.9 nm) were determined by dynamic light scattering and transmission electron microscopy. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy was used to confirm the existence of Au-S binding energy at 162.4 eV. Cytotoxicity study revealed that CGNRs were much biocompatible than CTAB-stabilized GNRs. Our results showed that CGNRs functionalized with folic acid (FA) could be internalized by human colon HT-29 cancer cells via folate-mediated endocytosis. From the viability of CGNR-laden HT-29 cells irradiated with 808-nm NIR laser light, we demonstrated that CGNR is a potential photothermal nano-absorber for the ablation of malignant cells under NIR laser exposure. © Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010.

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Journal of Nanoparticle Research