Aptamer-conjugated gold nanorod for photothermal ablation of epidermal growth factor receptor-overexpressed epithelial cancer

Jihye Choi, Yeonji Park, Eun Bi Choi, Hyun Ouk Kim, Dong Joo Kim, Yoochan Hong, Sung Ho Ryu, Jung Hwan Lee, Jin Suck Suh, Jaemoon Yang, Yong Min Huh, Seungjoo Haam

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28 Citations (Scopus)


Biomarker-specific photothermal nanoparticles that can efficiently sense markers that are overexpressed in distinguished adenocarcinomas have attracted much interest in an aspect of efficacy increase of cancer treatment. We demonstrated a promising prospect of a smart photothermal therapy agent employing anti-epidermal growth factor receptor aptamer (AptEGFR)-conjugated polyethylene glycol (PEG) layted gold nanorods (AptEGFRPGNRs). The cetyltrimethylammonium bromide bilayer on GNRs was replaced with heterobifunctional PEG (COOH-PEG-SH) not only to serve as a biocompatible stabilizer and but also to conjugate AptEGFR. Subsequently, to direct photothermal therapy agent toward epithelial cancer cells, the carboxylated PEGylated GNRs (PGNRs) were further functionalized with AptEGFR using carbodiimide chemistry. Then, to assess the potential as biomarker-specific photothermal therapy agent of synthesized AptEGFR-PGNRs, the optical properties, biocompatibility, colloidal stability, binding affinity, and epicellial cancer cell killing efficacy in vitro/in vivo under near-infrared laser irradiation were investigated. As a result, AptEGFR-PGNRs exhibit excellent tumor targeting ability and feasibility of effective photothermal ablation cancer therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number051203
JournalJournal of Biomedical Optics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2014 May

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by a grant of the Korea Health 21 R&D Project, Ministry of Health & Welfare, Republic of Korea (A101954) and this research was supported by a grant from KRIBB Research Initiative Program.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biomedical Engineering


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