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Nano Lett. 2005 Mar;5(3):473-7.

Gold nanocages: bioconjugation and their potential use as optical imaging contrast agents.

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Department of Chemistry, Department of Bioengineering, Department of Chemical Engineering, Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195, USA.


Gold nanocages of <40 nm in dimension have been synthesized using the galvanic replacement reaction between Ag nanocubes and HAuCl4 in an aqueous solution. By controlling the molar ratio between Ag and HAuCl4, the gold nanocages could be tuned to display surface plasmon resonance peaks around 800 nm, a wavelength commonly used in optical coherence tomography (OCT) imaging. OCT measurements on phantom samples indicate that these gold nanocages have a moderate scattering cross-section of approximately 8.10 x 10(-16) m2 but a very large absorption cross-section of approximately 7.26 x 10(-15) m2, suggesting their potential use as a new class of contrast agents for optical imaging. When bioconjugated with antibodies, the gold nanocages have also been demonstrated for specific targeting of breast cancer cells.

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