Colloidal gold nanoparticles for cancer therapy: effects of particle size on treatment efficacy, toxicology, and biodistribution
Lee, Kate Y. J.
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Gold nanoparticle has emerged as an attractive platform for drug delivery applications by complementing the existing drug delivery carriers. Currently, only a few gold nanoparticle-based anticancer drug delivery systems have been reported, compared to the polymer-based delivery systems. Additionally, there is still a lack of understanding for the behavior and fate of the gold-drug conjugate in the body that further attention is required. The overall goal of this thesis is to investigate the in vivo behavior of colloidal gold nanoparticle and its therapeutic efficacy in an animal model, especially in a drug delivery application. To achieve this goal, we investigated the feasibility of using colloidal gold nanoparticle as an anticancer agent delivery vehicle for treatment of cancer. Then, long-term clearance, toxicity, and biodistribution of colloidal gold nanoparticle were studied to further aid in understanding of using colloidal gold nanoparticle as a drug delivery platform. In particular, two representative sizes of gold nanoparticles, 5nm and 60nm, were investigated for the size effect on the therapeutic efficacy, toxicity, biodistribution, and clearance in cancer nanotherapy. We believe that nanoparticle size plays a critical role in not only delivering the drug to the target site but also determining the in vivo behavior such as biodistribution and clearance. By choosing an appropriate size scale for the system, we successfully used the small-sized gold nanoparticles for drug delivery applications, which also displayed no apparent toxicity with desirable clearance from the biological system. This work is significant by providing an insight on a potential ideal candidate for drug delivery carrier for cancer nanotherapy.