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Nanosci Nanotechnol Lett. 2012 Jul;4(7):681-686.

Highly purified biocompatible gold nanorods for contrasted optoacoustic imaging of small animal models.

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  • 1TomoWave Laboratories, Houston, TX 77081, USA.


We developed a methodology for high yield synthesis of gold nanorods (GNR) with narrow band optical absorption centered at 760 nm. GNR were purified from hexadecyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) and coated with polyethylene glycol (PEG). The molar ratio between GNR and PEG (1÷50000) was optimized to make the conjugate a biocompatible PEG-GNR contrast agent for optoacoustic (OA) imaging. In vitro toxicity studies showed no significant change in survival rates of cultured normal (IEC-6, MDCK) and cancer (SKBR3 and HEPG2) cells after they were incubated with 0.125 to 1.25 nM PEG-GNR solutions. In vivo toxicity studies in nude mice showed no pathological changes in liver after the IV injection of GNR. Significant enhancements of OA contrast in comparison to images of untreated mice were observed 1 hour after the GNR injection in a dose of 20 mg gold per kg of body mass.

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