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      Noble Metal Nanoparticles Applications in Cancer


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          Nanotechnology has prompted new and improved materials for biomedical applications with particular emphasis in therapy and diagnostics. Special interest has been directed at providing enhanced molecular therapeutics for cancer, where conventional approaches do not effectively differentiate between cancerous and normal cells; that is, they lack specificity. This normally causes systemic toxicity and severe and adverse side effects with concomitant loss of quality of life. Because of their small size, nanoparticles can readily interact with biomolecules both at surface and inside cells, yielding better signals and target specificity for diagnostics and therapeutics. This way, a variety of nanoparticles with the possibility of diversified modification with biomolecules have been investigated for biomedical applications including their use in highly sensitive imaging assays, thermal ablation, and radiotherapy enhancement as well as drug and gene delivery and silencing. Here, we review the available noble metal nanoparticles for cancer therapy, with particular focus on those already being translated into clinical settings.

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          Most cited references155

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          Knocking down barriers: advances in siRNA delivery

          Key Points RNA interference (RNAi) is a fundamental pathway in eukaryotic cells by which sequence-specific small interfering RNA (siRNA) is able to silence genes through the destruction of complementary mRNA. RNAi is an important therapeutic tool that can be used to silence aberrant endogenous genes or to knockdown genes essential to the proliferation of infectious organisms. Delivery remains the central challenge to the therapeutic application of RNAi technology. Before siRNA can take effect in the cytoplasm of a target cell, it must be transported through the body to the target site without undergoing clearance or degradation. Currently, the most effective synthetic, non-viral delivery agents of siRNA are lipids, lipid-like materials and polymers. Various cationic agents including stable nucleic acid–lipid particles, lipidoids, cyclodextrin polymers and polyethyleneimine polymers have been used to achieve the successful systemic delivery of siRNA in mammals without inducing significant toxicity. Direct conjugation of delivery agents to siRNA can facilitate delivery. For example, cholesterol-modified siRNA enables targeting to the liver. RNAi therapeutics have progressed to the clinic, where studies are being conducted to determine siRNA efficacy in treating several diseases, including age-related macular degeneration and respiratory syncytial virus. Moving forward, it will be important to pay close attention to the potential nonspecific immunostimulatory effects of siRNA. Modifications to siRNA can be used to minimize stimulation of the immune system, and an increased emphasis must be placed on performing proper controls to ensure that therapeutic effects are sequence-specific.
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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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              In vitro toxicity of nanoparticles in BRL 3A rat liver cells.

              This study was undertaken to address the current deficient knowledge of cellular response to nanosized particle exposure. The study evaluated the acute toxic effects of metal/metal oxide nanoparticles proposed for future use in industrial production methods using the in vitro rat liver derived cell line (BRL 3A). Different sizes of nanoparticles such as silver (Ag; 15, 100 nm), molybdenum (MoO(3); 30, 150 nm), aluminum (Al; 30, 103 nm), iron oxide (Fe(3)O(4); 30, 47 nm), and titanium dioxide (TiO(2); 40 nm) were evaluated for their potential toxicity. We also assessed the toxicity of relatively larger particles of cadmium oxide (CdO; 1 microm), manganese oxide (MnO(2); 1-2 microm), and tungsten (W; 27 microm), to compare the cellular toxic responses with respect to the different sizes of nanoparticles with different core chemical compositions. For toxicity evaluations, cellular morphology, mitochondrial function (MTT assay), membrane leakage of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH assay), reduced glutathione (GSH) levels, reactive oxygen species (ROS), and mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) were assessed under control and exposed conditions (24h of exposure). Results showed that mitochondrial function decreased significantly in cells exposed to Ag nanoparticles at 5-50 microg/ml. However, Fe(3)O(4), Al, MoO(3) and TiO(2) had no measurable effect at lower doses (10-50 microg/ml), while there was a significant effect at higher levels (100-250 microg/ml). LDH leakage significantly increased in cells exposed to Ag nanoparticles (10-50 microg/ml), while the other nanoparticles tested displayed LDH leakage only at higher doses (100-250 microg/ml). In summary the Ag was highly toxic whereas, MoO(3) moderately toxic and Fe(3)O(4), Al, MnO(2) and W displayed less or no toxicity at the doses tested. The microscopic studies demonstrated that nanoparticle-exposed cells at higher doses became abnormal in size, displaying cellular shrinkage, and an acquisition of an irregular shape. Due to toxicity of silver, further study conducted with reference to its oxidative stress. The results exhibited significant depletion of GSH level, reduced mitochondrial membrane potential and increase in ROS levels, which suggested that cytotoxicity of Ag (15, 100 nm) in liver cells is likely to be mediated through oxidative stress.

                Author and article information

                J Drug Deliv
                Journal of Drug Delivery
                Hindawi Publishing Corporation
                5 October 2011
                : 2012
                1CIGMH, Departamento de Ciências da Vida, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Campus de Caparica, 2829-516 Caparica, Portugal
                2Instituto de Nanociencia de Aragón, Universidad de Zaragoza, Pedro Cerbuna 12, 50009 Zaragoza, Spain
                Author notes
                *Pedro Baptista: pmvb@ 123456fct.unl.pt

                Academic Editor: Paulo Cesar de Morais

                Copyright © 2012 João Conde et al.

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

                Review Article

                Pharmaceutical chemistry
                Pharmaceutical chemistry


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