Impact of PEGylation on the biological effects and light heat conversion efficiency of gold nanoshells on silica nanorattles

Huiyu Liu, Tianlong Liu, Hai Wang, Linlin Li, Longfei Tan, Changhui Fu, Guangjun Nie, Dong Chen, Fangqiong Tang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


As an excellent photothermal agent candidate, gold nanoshells have attracted a great deal of attention, but the influences of PEGylation on their biological effects and light heat conversion efficiency remain unclear. Here we investigate the influences of PEGylation density on the gold nanoshells on silica nanorattles (GSNPs) to their biological effects, including their cellular uptake, "corona" of biological macromolecules they are covered with, invivo biodistribution and toxicities, and their invitro and invivo light heat conversion efficiency. The results suggest PEGylation obviously impacts the uptake patterns of GSNPs. Less-density PEGylated GSNPs showenhanced cellular uptake caused by the high dose exposure on cell surface due to their rapid aggregation. High-density PEGylated GSNPs show advantages in less toxicity for suppression of aggregation of GSNPs, avoidance of RES, good enhanced permeability and retention (EPR) effect of cancerous tumors, especially the enhanced light heat conversion efficiency invivo. Less or insufficient PEGylation may induce invivo toxicity. This study highlights the need to study the effect of PEGylation for near infrared (NIR) light absorbing nanoparticles to predict the effects and safety of nanotherapeutics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6967-6975
Number of pages9
Issue number28
StatePublished - Sep 2013


  • Biological effects
  • Gold nanoshells
  • Light heat conversion efficiency
  • Nanomedicine
  • PEGylation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Bioengineering
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Biophysics


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