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Nano Lett. 2011 Feb 9;11(2):772-80. doi: 10.1021/nl103992v. Epub 2010 Dec 27.

Selective targeting of gold nanorods at the mitochondria of cancer cells: implications for cancer therapy.

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CAS Key Laboratory for Biomedical Effects of Nanomaterials and Nanosafety, National Center for Nanoscience and Technology of China, Beijing, China.


We have observed that Au nanorods (NRs) have distinct effects on cell viability via killing cancer cells while posing negligible impact on normal cells and mesenchymal stem cells. Obvious differences in cellular uptake, intracellular trafficking, and susceptibility of lysosome to Au NRs by different types of cells resulted in selective accumulation of Au NRs in the mitochondria of cancer cells. Their long-term retention decreased mitochondrial membrane potential and increased reactive oxygen species level that enhances the likelihood of cell death. These findings thus provide guidance for the design of organelle-targeted nanomaterials in tumor therapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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