Stability of antibody-conjugated gold nanoparticles in the endolysosomal nanoenvironment: Implications for noninvasive radiofrequency-based cancer therapy

Mustafa Raoof, Stuart J. Corr, Warna D. Kaluarachchi, Katheryn L. Massey, Katrina Briggs, Cihui Zhu, Matthew A. Cheney, Lon J. Wilson, Steven A. Curley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The use of noninvasive radiofrequency (RF) electric fields as an energy source for thermal activation of nanoparticles within cancer cells could be a valuable addition to the emerging field of nano-mediated cancer therapies. Based on investigations of cell death through hyperthermia, and offering the ability for total-body penetration by RF fields, this technique is thought to complement and possibly outperform existing nano-heat treatments that utilize alternative heat production via optical or magnetic stimuli. However, it remains a challenge to understand fully the complex RF-nanoparticle-intracellular interactions before full system optimization can be engineered. Herein we have shown that liver cancer cells can selectively internalize antibody-conjugated gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) through receptor-mediated endocytosis, with the nanoparticles predominantly accumulating and aggregating within cytoplasmic endolysosomes. After exposure to an external RF field, nonaggregated AuNPs absorbed and dissipated energy as heat, causing thermal damage to the targeted cancer cells. We also observed that RF absorption and heat dissipation is dependent on solubility of AuNPs in the colloid, which is pH dependent. Furthermore, by modulating endolysosomal pH it is possible to prevent intracellular AuNP aggregation and enhance thermal cytotoxicity in hepatocellular cancer cells. From the Clinical Editor: Gold nanoparticles absorb energy from RF fields and can exert hyperthermic effects leading to cell death. Combining this known effect with antibody-based targeting of the nanoparticles, selective cancer specific hyperthermia induced cell death therapies can be designed, as demonstrated in this article.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1096-1105
Number of pages10
JournalNanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology, and Medicine
Volume8
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2012

Keywords

  • Cancer
  • Gold nanoparticles
  • Hyperthermia
  • Lysosomotropics
  • PH
  • Radiofrequency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Pharmaceutical Science

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