Gold Nanoparticles in Diagnostics and Therapeutics for Human Cancer

Priyanka Singh, Santosh Pandit, V. R. S. S. Mokkapati, Abhroop Garg, Vaishnavi Ravikumar, Ivan Mijakovic*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

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The application of nanotechnology for the treatment of cancer is mostly based on early tumor detection and diagnosis by nanodevices capable of selective targeting and delivery of chemotherapeutic drugs to the specific tumor site. Due to the remarkable properties of gold nanoparticles, they have long been considered as a potential tool for diagnosis of various cancers and for drug delivery applications. These properties include high surface area to volume ratio, surface plasmon resonance, surface chemistry and multi-functionalization, facile synthesis, and stable nature. Moreover, the non-toxic and non-immunogenic nature of gold nanoparticles and the high permeability and retention effect provide additional benefits by enabling easy penetration and accumulation of drugs at the tumor sites. Various innovative approaches with gold nanoparticles are under development. In this review, we provide an overview of recent progress made in the application of gold nanoparticles in the treatment of cancer by tumor detection, drug delivery, imaging, photothermal and photodynamic therapy and their current limitations in terms of bioavailability and the fate of the nanoparticles.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1979
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number7
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).


  • Gold nanoparticles
  • Cancer
  • Protein corona
  • Biocompatibility
  • Photoimaging
  • Drug delivery
  • Photothermal therapy
  • Photodynamic therapy
  • Clinical trials
  • Toxicology


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