Specific near-IR absorption imaging of glioblastomas using integrin-targeting gold nanorods

Jihye Choi, Jaemoon Yang, Joseph Park, Eunjung Kim, Jin Suck Suh, Yong Min Huh, Seungjoo Haam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Citations (Scopus)


Molecular imaging using nanoprobes with high resolution and low toxicity is essential in early cancer detection. Here we introduce a new class of smart imaging probes employing PEGylated gold nanorods (GNRs) conjugated to cRGD for specific optical imaging of αvβ3 integrins from glioblastoma. GNRs exhibiting an optical resonance peak in the near-infrared (NIR) region were synthesized using the seed-mediated growth method. CTAB (cetyl trimethylammonium bromide) bilayer on the GNRs was replaced with a biocompatible stabilizer, heterobifunctional polyethyleneglycol (COOH-PEG-SH). Further, the carboxylated GNRs (PGNRs; PEG-coated GNRs) were functionalized with cRGD using EDC-NHS chemistry to formulate cRGD-conjugated GNRs (cRGD-PGNRs) for αvβ3 integrins. In order to assess the potential of the cRGD-PGNRs as a targeted imaging probe, we investigated their optical properties, biocompatibility, colloidal stability and in vitro/in vivo binding affinities for cancer cells. Consequently, cRGD-PGNRs demonstrated excellent tumor targeting ability with no cytotoxicity, as well as sufficient cellular uptake due to stable and prolonged blood circulation of cRGD-PGNRs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1082-1088
Number of pages7
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Mar 22

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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