Gold nanoparticles as a potent radiosensitizer in neutron therapy

Eun Ho Kim, Mi Sook Kim, Hyo Sook Song, Seung Hoon Yoo, Sei Sai, Kwangzoo Chung, Jiwon Sung, Youn Kyoung Jeong, Yun Hui Jo, Myonggeun Yoon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this study was to investigate the potential of gold nanoparticles as radiosensitizer for use in neutron therapy against hepatocellular carcinoma. The hepatocellular carcinoma cells lines Huh7 and HepG2 were irradiated with γ and neutron radiation in the presence or absence of gold nanoparticles. Effects were evaluated by transmission electron microscopy, cell survival, cell cycle, DNA damage, migration, and invasiveness. Gold nanoparticles significantly enhanced the radiosensitivity of Huh7 and HepG2 cells to γ-rays by 1.41- and 1.16-fold, respectively, and by 1.80- and 1.35-fold to neutron radiation, which has high linear energy transfer. Accordingly, exposure to neutron radiation in the presence of gold nanoparticles induced cell cycle arrest, DNA damage, and cell death to a significantly higher extent, and suppressed cell migration and invasiveness more robustly. These effects are presumably due to the ability of gold nanoparticles to amplify the effective dose from neutron radiation more efficiently. The data suggest that gold nanoparticles may be clinically useful in combination therapy against hepatocellular carcinoma by enhancing the toxicity of radiation with high linear energy transfer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)112390-112400
Number of pages11
Issue number68
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Cancer
  • Gold nanoparticles
  • Neutron therapy
  • Radiosensitizer
  • γ-ray

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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