Detoxification of gold nanorods for improved cytocompatibility and biofunctionalization
An enormous interest can be seen in gold nanorods, both fundamentally and application driven since the 1990s due to the development of controllable synthesis methods. The anisotropy in the shape of gold nanorods induces the division of the surface plasmon resonance (SPR) into transverse and longitudinal components, of which the latter is highly sensitive to the wavelength and polarization of the impinging light. This property coupled with the size tunability and efficient drug delivery capabilities makes the gold nanorods desirable for use as a multiplexed diagnostic and therapeutic tool in disease research. Conventional synthesis approaches, however, involve the use of toxic surfactants thereby increasing chances of non-specific cell death. Here, we aim to investigate the factors responsible for the cytotoxicity of the gold nanorods and to subsequently use novel synthesis approaches to minimize it. We further biofunctionalize the nanorods, and perform in vitro active cellular targeting and uptake to analyze the efficiency of the nanoparticle-antibody conjugate as a drug-delivery agent.