In vivo tumor targeting of gold nanoparticles: Effect of particle type and dosing strategy

Priyaveena Puvanakrishnan, Jaesook Park, Deyali Chatterjee, Sunil Krishnan, James W. Tunnell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

81 Scopus citations


Gold nanoparticles (GNPs) have gained significant interest as nanovectors for combined imaging and photothermal therapy of tumors. Delivered systemically, GNPs preferentially accumulate at the tumor site via the enhanced permeability and retention effect, and when irradiated with near infrared light, produce sufficient heat to treat tumor tissue. The efficacy of this process strongly depends on the targeting ability of the GNPs, which is a function of the particle's geometric properties (eg, size) and dosing strategy (eg, number and amount of injections). The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of GNP type and dosing strategy on in vivo tumor targeting. Specifically, we investigated the in vivo tumortargeting efficiency of pegylated gold nanoshells (GNSs) and gold nanorods (GNRs) for single and multiple dosing. We used Swiss nu/nu mice with a subcutaneous tumor xenograft model that received intravenous administration for a single and multiple doses of GNS and GNR. We performed neutron activation analysis to quantify the gold present in the tumor and liver. We performed histology to determine if there was acute toxicity as a result of multiple dosing. Neutron activation analysis results showed that the smaller GNRs accumulated in higher concentrations in the tumor compared to the larger GNSs. We observed a significant increase in GNS and GNR accumulation in the liver for higher doses. However, multiple doses increased targeting efficiency with minimal effect beyond three doses of GNPs. These results suggest a significant effect of particle type and multiple doses on increasing particle accumulation and on tumor targeting ability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1251-1258
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Nanomedicine
StatePublished - Dec 5 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Gold nanorods
  • Gold nanoshells
  • Multiple dosing
  • Tumor targeting

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'In vivo tumor targeting of gold nanoparticles: Effect of particle type and dosing strategy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this