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      Introduction to metallic nanoparticles


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          Metallic nanoparticles have fascinated scientist for over a century and are now heavily utilized in biomedical sciences and engineering. They are a focus of interest because of their huge potential in nanotechnology. Today these materials can be synthesized and modified with various chemical functional groups which allow them to be conjugated with antibodies, ligands, and drugs of interest and thus opening a wide range of potential applications in biotechnology, magnetic separation, and preconcentration of target analytes, targeted drug delivery, and vehicles for gene and drug delivery and more importantly diagnostic imaging. Moreover, various imaging modalities have been developed over the period of time such as MRI, CT, PET, ultrasound, SERS, and optical imaging as an aid to image various disease states. These imaging modalities differ in both techniques and instrumentation and more importantly require a contrast agent with unique physiochemical properties. This led to the invention of various nanoparticulated contrast agent such as magnetic nanoparticles (Fe 3O 4), gold, and silver nanoparticles for their application in these imaging modalities. In addition, to use various imaging techniques in tandem newer multifunctional nanoshells and nanocages have been developed. Thus in this review article, we aim to provide an introduction to magnetic nanoparticles (Fe 3O 4), gold nanoparticles, nanoshells and nanocages, and silver nanoparticles followed by their synthesis, physiochemical properties, and citing some recent applications in the diagnostic imaging and therapy of cancer.

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          Calculated absorption and scattering properties of gold nanoparticles of different size, shape, and composition: applications in biological imaging and biomedicine.

          The selection of nanoparticles for achieving efficient contrast for biological and cell imaging applications, as well as for photothermal therapeutic applications, is based on the optical properties of the nanoparticles. We use Mie theory and discrete dipole approximation method to calculate absorption and scattering efficiencies and optical resonance wavelengths for three commonly used classes of nanoparticles: gold nanospheres, silica-gold nanoshells, and gold nanorods. The calculated spectra clearly reflect the well-known dependence of nanoparticle optical properties viz. the resonance wavelength, the extinction cross-section, and the ratio of scattering to absorption, on the nanoparticle dimensions. A systematic quantitative study of the various trends is presented. By increasing the size of gold nanospheres from 20 to 80 nm, the magnitude of extinction as well as the relative contribution of scattering to the extinction rapidly increases. Gold nanospheres in the size range commonly employed ( approximately 40 nm) show an absorption cross-section 5 orders higher than conventional absorbing dyes, while the magnitude of light scattering by 80-nm gold nanospheres is 5 orders higher than the light emission from strongly fluorescing dyes. The variation in the plasmon wavelength maximum of nanospheres, i.e., from approximately 520 to 550 nm, is however too limited to be useful for in vivo applications. Gold nanoshells are found to have optical cross-sections comparable to and even higher than the nanospheres. Additionally, their optical resonances lie favorably in the near-infrared region. The resonance wavelength can be rapidly increased by either increasing the total nanoshell size or increasing the ratio of the core-to-shell radius. The total extinction of nanoshells shows a linear dependence on their total size, however, it is independent of the core/shell radius ratio. The relative scattering contribution to the extinction can be rapidly increased by increasing the nanoshell size or decreasing the ratio of the core/shell radius. Gold nanorods show optical cross-sections comparable to nanospheres and nanoshells, however, at much smaller effective size. Their optical resonance can be linearly tuned across the near-infrared region by changing either the effective size or the aspect ratio of the nanorods. The total extinction as well as the relative scattering contribution increases rapidly with the effective size, however, they are independent of the aspect ratio. To compare the effectiveness of nanoparticles of different sizes for real biomedical applications, size-normalized optical cross-sections or per micron coefficients are calculated. Gold nanorods show per micron absorption and scattering coefficients that are an order of magnitude higher than those for nanoshells and nanospheres. While nanorods with a higher aspect ratio along with a smaller effective radius are the best photoabsorbing nanoparticles, the highest scattering contrast for imaging applications is obtained from nanorods of high aspect ratio with a larger effective radius.
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            Nanoshell-mediated near-infrared thermal therapy of tumors under magnetic resonance guidance.

            Metal nanoshells are a class of nanoparticles with tunable optical resonances. In this article, an application of this technology to thermal ablative therapy for cancer is described. By tuning the nanoshells to strongly absorb light in the near infrared, where optical transmission through tissue is optimal, a distribution of nanoshells at depth in tissue can be used to deliver a therapeutic dose of heat by using moderately low exposures of extracorporeally applied near-infrared (NIR) light. Human breast carcinoma cells incubated with nanoshells in vitro were found to have undergone photothermally induced morbidity on exposure to NIR light (820 nm, 35 W/cm2), as determined by using a fluorescent viability stain. Cells without nanoshells displayed no loss in viability after the same periods and conditions of NIR illumination. Likewise, in vivo studies under magnetic resonance guidance revealed that exposure to low doses of NIR light (820 nm, 4 W/cm2) in solid tumors treated with metal nanoshells reached average maximum temperatures capable of inducing irreversible tissue damage (DeltaT = 37.4 +/- 6.6 degrees C) within 4-6 min. Controls treated without nanoshells demonstrated significantly lower average temperatures on exposure to NIR light (DeltaT < 10 degrees C). These findings demonstrated good correlation with histological findings. Tissues heated above the thermal damage threshold displayed coagulation, cell shrinkage, and loss of nuclear staining, which are indicators of irreversible thermal damage. Control tissues appeared undamaged.
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              Gold nanoparticles for biology and medicine.

              Gold colloids have fascinated scientists for over a century and are now heavily utilized in chemistry, biology, engineering, and medicine. Today these materials can be synthesized reproducibly, modified with seemingly limitless chemical functional groups, and, in certain cases, characterized with atomic-level precision. This Review highlights recent advances in the synthesis, bioconjugation, and cellular uses of gold nanoconjugates. There are now many examples of highly sensitive and selective assays based upon gold nanoconjugates. In recent years, focus has turned to therapeutic possibilities for such materials. Structures which behave as gene-regulating agents, drug carriers, imaging agents, and photoresponsive therapeutics have been developed and studied in the context of cells and many debilitating diseases. These structures are not simply chosen as alternatives to molecule-based systems, but rather for their new physical and chemical properties, which confer substantive advantages in cellular and medical applications.

                Author and article information

                J Pharm Bioallied Sci
                Journal of Pharmacy and Bioallied Sciences
                Medknow Publications (India )
                Oct-Dec 2010
                : 2
                : 4
                : 282-289
                Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Appalachian College of Pharmacy, 1060 Dragon Road, Oakwood, Virginia USA 246 14
                [1 ]Department of Radiology, UT Southwestern Medical Center, 5323 Harry Hines Boulevard, Dallas, Texas 753 90, India
                [2 ]Department of Radiology, Dr. L.H. Hiranandani College of Pharmacy, Mumbai University, Ulhasnagar-421 003, India
                Author notes
                Address for correspondence: Dr. Vicky V. Mody, E-mail: vmody@ 123456acpharm.org
                © Journal of Pharmacy and Bioallied Sciences

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                : 21 June 2010
                : 24 July 2010
                : 28 August 2010
                Invited Review

                Pharmacology & Pharmaceutical medicine
                silver nanoparticles,metallic nanoparticles,nanocages,gold nanoparticles,fe3o4,nanoshells,iron oxide nanoparticles


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