Intratumoral generation of photothermal gold nanoparticles through a vectorized biomineralization of ionic gold

Aaron S. Schwartz-Duval, Christian J. Konopka, Parikshit Moitra, Enrique A. Daza, Indrajit Srivastava, Elyse V. Johnson, Taylor L. Kampert, Stanley Fayn, Anand Haran, Lawrence W. Dobrucki, Dipanjan Pan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


Various cancer cells have been demonstrated to have the capacity to form plasmonic gold nanoparticles when chloroauric acid is introduced to their cellular microenvironment. But their biomedical applications are limited, particularly considering the millimolar concentrations and longer incubation period of ionic gold. Here, we describe a simplistic method of intracellular biomineralization to produce plasmonic gold nanoparticles at micromolar concentrations within 30 min of application utilizing polyethylene glycol as delivery vector for ionic gold. We have characterized this process for intracellular gold nanoparticle formation, which progressively accumulates proteins as the ionic gold clusters migrate to the nucleus. This nano-vectorized application of ionic gold emphasizes its potential biomedical opportunities while reducing the quantity of ionic gold and required incubation time. To demonstrate its biomedical potential, we further induce in-situ biosynthesis of gold nanoparticles within MCF7 tumor mouse xenografts which is followed by its photothermal remediation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4530
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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