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Journal of Environmental Pathology, Toxicology and Oncology
IF: 1.241 5-Year IF: 1.349 SJR: 0.519 SNIP: 0.613 CiteScore™: 1.61

ISSN Print: 0731-8898
ISSN Online: 2162-6537

Journal of Environmental Pathology, Toxicology and Oncology

DOI: 10.1615/JEnvironPatholToxicolOncol.2017021545
pages 229-235

Photothermal Therapy Employing Gold Nanoparticle- Loaded Macrophages as Delivery Vehicles: Comparing the Efficiency of Nanoshells Versus Nanorods

Catherine Christie
Beckman Laser Institute, University of California, Irvine, 1002 Health Sciences Rd. E, Irvine, CA 92612
Steen J. Madsen
Department of Health Physics and Diagnostic Sciences, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, 4505 S. Maryland Pkwy., Box 453037, Las Vegas, NV 89154
Qian Peng
Department of Pathology, The Norwegian Radium Hospital, Oslo University Hospital, Montebello, 0310 Oslo, Norway
Henry Hirschberg
Beckman Laser Institute, University of California, Irvine, 1002 Health Sciences Rd. E, Irvine, CA 92612


Macrophages (Ma) loaded with gold based nanoparticles, which convert near infrared light to heat, have been studied as targeted transport vectors for photothermal therapy (PTT) of tumors. The purpose of the experiments reported here was to compare the efficacy of gold-silica nanoshells (AuNS) and gold nanorods (AuNR) in macrophage mediated PTT. PTT efficacy was evaluated in hybrid glioma spheroids consisting of human glioma cells and either AuNS or AuNR loaded Ma, designated MaNS and MaNR respectivly. Spheroids were irradiated for 10 min. with light from an 810 nm diode laser at irradiances ranging from 0 to 28 W/cm2. PTT efficacy was determined from spheroid growth over a 14-day period. The uptake by Ma of pegylated AuNR (3.9 ± 0.9 %) was twice that of pegylated AuNS, (7.9 ± 0.7 %). Hybrid spheroids consisting of a 5:1 ratio of glioma cells to loaded Ma exhibited significant growth inhibition with MaNS when subjected to irradiances of 7 W/cm2 or greater. In contrast, no significant growth inhibition was observed for the MaNR hybrid spheroids at this 5:1 ratio, even at the highest irradiance investigated (28 W/cm2). Although AuNR were taken up by Ma in larger numbers then AuNS, MaNS were shown to have greater PTT efficacy compared to MaNR for equivalent numbers of loaded Ma.

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