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J Am Chem Soc. 2007 Feb 7;129(5):1428-33.

FePt@CoS(2) yolk-shell nanocrystals as a potent agent to kill HeLa cells.

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Department of Chemistry, Center for Cancer Research, Department of Physics, and Bioengineering Program, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clear Water Bay, Hong Kong, China.


We report the evaluation of cytotoxicity of a new type of engineered nanomaterials, FePt@CoS(2) yolk-shell nanocrystals, synthesized by the mechanism of the Kirkendall effect when FePt nanoparticles serve as the seeds. The cytotoxicity of FePt@CoS(2) yolk-shell nanocrystals, evaluated by MTT assay, shows a much lower IC(50) (35.5 +/- 4.7 ng of Pt/mL for HeLa cell) than that of cisplatin (230 ng of Pt/mL). In the control experiment, cysteine-modified FePt nanoparticles exhibit IC50 at 12.0 +/- 0.9 microg of Pt/mL. Transmission electron microscopy confirms the cellular uptake of FePt@CoS(2) nanocrystals, and the magnetic properties analysis (SQUID) proves the release of FePt nanoparticles from the yolk-shell nanostructures after cellular uptake. These results are significant because almost none of the platinum-based complexes produced for clinical trials in the past 3 decades have shown higher activity than that of the parent drug, cisplatin. The exceptionally high toxicity of FePt@CoS(2) yolk-shell nanocrystals (about 7 times higher than that of cisplatin in terms of Pt) may lead to a new design of an anticancer nanomedicine.

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