Gold nanostructures as photothermal therapy agent for cancer

Jihye Choi, Jaemoon Yang, Eunji Jang, Jin Suck Suh, Yong Min Huh, Kwangyeol Lee, Seungjoo Haam

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

53 Citations (Scopus)


Well-designed photothermal nanostructures have attracted many scientists pursuing a better means to accurately diagnose cancer and assess the efficacy of treatment. Recently, gold-based nanostructures (nanoshells, nanorods and nanocages) have enabled photothermal ablation of cancer cells with near-infrared (NIR) light without damaging normal human tissues and in particular, animal studies and early clinical testing showed the great promise for these materials. In this review article, we first discuss the mechanism of the cellular death signaling by thermal stress and introduce the intrinsic properties of gold nanostructures as photothermal agent for cancer treatment. Then the overview follows for evolving researches for the synthesis of various types of gold nanostructures and for their biomedical applications. Finally we introduce the optimized therapeutic strategies involving nanoparticle surface modification and laser operation method for an enhanced accumulation of gold nanostructures to the target cancer as well as for an effective cancer cell ablation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)953-964
Number of pages12
JournalAnti-Cancer Agents in Medicinal Chemistry
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Dec


  • Cancer
  • Gold nanostructures
  • Near-IR
  • Photothermal therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology
  • Cancer Research


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