META 2021, META'12

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Photothermally actuated therapeutics
N. Halas

Last modified: 2012-02-05


Noble metal nanoparticles with near-infrared optical, plasmon-based resonances (such as nanoshells) have become a practical and enabling tool for nanomedicine. Their efficacy in various therapeutic applications is based on their optical properties, and, directly or indirectly, on photothermal effects.  In the context of cancer therapy, tumor remission near the 100% level has been achieved in subcutaneous tumors, based on uptake of nanoshells and subsequent near-IR illumination, which induced hyperthermic cell death. This approach has transitioned into clinical trials for a variety of soft tissue cancers.  Near-IR resonant plasmonic nanoparticles can also be formulated to be light-triggerable vectors for gene therapy, offering a degree of kinetic control over the gene delivery process unachievable by other methods.  A general oligonucleotide-bearing peptide ligand can be constructed and attached to nanoshells to effectively deliver either antisense DNA or siRNA upon near-IR illumination, demonstrating the triggered downregulation of GFP in H1299 lung cancer cells in both cases.