Multifunctional Gold Nanoparticles for Improved Diagnostic and Therapeutic Applications: A Review

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Abstract

The medical properties of metals have been explored for centuries in traditional medicine for the treatment of infections and diseases and still practiced to date. Platinum-based drugs are the first class of metal-based drugs to be clinically used as anticancer agents following the approval of cisplatin by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) over 40 years ago. Since then, more metals with health benefits have been approved for clinical trials. Interestingly, when these metals are reduced to metallic nanoparticles, they displayed unique and novel properties that were superior to their bulk counterparts. Gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) are among the FDA-approved metallic nanoparticles and have shown great promise in a variety of roles in medicine. They were used as drug delivery, photothermal (PT), contrast, therapeutic, radiosensitizing, and gene transfection agents. Their biomedical applications are reviewed herein, covering their potential use in disease diagnosis and therapy. Some of the AuNP-based systems that are approved for clinical trials are also discussed, as well as the potential health threats of AuNPs and some strategies that can be used to improve their biocompatibility. The reviewed studies offer proof of principle that AuNP-based systems could potentially be used alone or in combination with the conventional systems to improve their efficacy.

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Sibuyi, N. R. S., Moabelo, K. L., Fadaka, A. O., Meyer, S., Onani, M. O., Madiehe, A. M., & Meyer, M. (2021). Multifunctional Gold Nanoparticles for Improved Diagnostic and Therapeutic Applications: A Review. Nanoscale Research Letters. Springer. https://doi.org/10.1186/s11671-021-03632-w

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