Facile synthesis of 64Cu-doped Au nanocages for positron emission tomography imaging

Miaoxin Yang, Da Huo, Kyle D. Gilroy, Xiaojun Sun, Deborah Sultan, Hannah Luehmann, Lisa Detering, Shunqiang Li, Dong Qin, Yongjian Liu, Younan Xia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


This article reports a simple and reliable approach to the synthesis of Cu-doped Au nanocages through the codeposition of Au and Cu on the surfaces (both outer and inner) of pre-synthesized Au nanocages by reducing HAuCl4 and CuCl2 with ascorbic acid under alkaline conditions. By controlling the total amount of Au and Cu deposited and/or the molar ratio between these two metals, we were able to adjust the Cu content in the resultant Au nanocages. The localized surface plasmon resonance properties of the Cudoped Au nanocages resemble those of the conventional Au nanocages, with strong and tunable absorption in the nearinfrared region. When radioactive 64CuCl2 was used in combination with nonradioactive CuCl2 as a source to elemental Cu, we obtained 64Cu-doped Au nanocages. The radioactive nanocages could serve as tracers for position emission tomography (PET) imaging, and they were found to accumulate effectively in both 4T1 and patient derived xenograft (PDX) tumor models due to the enhanced permeability and retention effect. Autoradiography analysis indicated a homogeneous intra-tumoral distribution for these nanocages. Taken together, the 64Cu-doped Au nanocages are promising for image-guided cancer theranostics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-50
Number of pages7
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2017


  • Copper
  • Gold
  • Nanocage
  • Positron emission tomography
  • Radiolabeling


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