In Vitro Photothermal Destruction of Cancer Cells Using Gold Nanoparticles
Photothermal therapy (PTT), in which nanoparticles embedded within tumors generate heat in response to exogenously applied laser light, has been well documented as an independent strategy for highly selective cancer treatment. Gold-based nanoparticles are the main mediators of PTT because they offer: biocompatibility, small diameters that enable tumor penetration upon systemic delivery, efficient light-to-heat conversion, and the ability to be tuned to absorb near-infrared light, which penetrates tissue more deeply than other wavelengths of light. All together, these benefits can enhance the therapeutic success of both PTT and the secondary treatment while lowering the required doses of the individual agents, leading to fewer off-target effects. Given the benefits of combining gold nanoparticle-mediated PTT with other treatment strategies, many exciting opportunities for multimodal cancer treatment are emerging that will ultimately lead to improved patient outcomes.