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Effects of surface charges of gold nanoclusters on long-term in vivo biodistribution, toxicity, and cancer radiation therapy

Authors Wang J, Chen J, Yang J, Wang H, Shen X, Sun Y, Guo M, Zhang X

Received 9 February 2016

Accepted for publication 16 May 2016

Published 27 July 2016 Volume 2016:11 Pages 3475—3485


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 6

Editor who approved publication: Dr Lei Yang

Jun-Ying Wang,1 Jie Chen,1 Jiang Yang,2 Hao Wang,1 Xiu Shen,1 Yuan-Ming Sun,1 Meili Guo,3 Xiao-Dong Zhang4

1Tianjin Key Laboratory of Radiation Medicine and Molecular Nuclear Medicine, Institute of Radiation Medicine, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, Tianjin, 2Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Center, Department of Environmental Science and Engineering, Fudan University, Shanghai, 3Department of Physics, School of Science, Tianjin Chengjian University, 4Department of Physics, School of Science, Tianjin University, Tianjin, People’s Republic of China

Abstract: Gold nanoclusters (Au NCs) have exhibited great advantages in medical diagnostics and therapies due to their efficient renal clearance and high tumor uptake. The in vivo effects of the surface chemistry of Au NCs are important for the development of both nanobiological interfaces and potential clinical contrast reagents, but these properties are yet to be fully investigated. In this study, we prepared glutathione-protected Au NCs of a similar hydrodynamic size but with three different surface charges: positive, negative, and neutral. Their in vivo biodistribution, excretion, and toxicity were investigated over a 90-day period, and tumor uptake and potential application to radiation therapy were also evaluated. The results showed that the surface charge greatly influenced pharmacokinetics, particularly renal excretion and accumulation in kidney, liver, spleen, and testis. Negatively charged Au NCs displayed lower excretion and increased tumor uptake, indicating a potential for NC-based therapeutics, whereas positively charged clusters caused transient side effects on the peripheral blood system.

Keywords: gold clusters, in vivo toxicity, long-term, cancer therapy

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