Nanoparticles of varying composition, size, shape, and architecture have been explored for use as photothermal agents in the field of cancer nanomedicine. Among them, gold nanoparticles provide a simple platform for thermal ablation owing to its biocompatibility in vivo. However, the synthesis of such gold nanoparticles exhibiting suitable properties for photothermal activity involves cumbersome routes using toxic chemicals as capping agents, which can cause concerns in vivo. Herein, gold nanoparticles, synthesized using green chemistry routes possessing near-infrared (NIR) absorbance facilitating photothermal therapy, would be a viable alternative. In this study, anisotropic gold nanoparticles were synthesized using an aqueous route with cocoa extract which served both as a reducing and stabilizing agent. The as-prepared gold nanoparticles were subjected to density gradient centrifugation to maximize its NIR absorption in the wavelength range of 800-1000 nm. The particles also showed good biocompatibility when tested in vitro using A431, MDA-MB231, L929, and NIH-3T3 cell lines up to concentrations of 200 μg/mL. Cell death induced in epidermoid carcinoma A431 cells upon irradiation with a femtosecond laser at 800 nm at a low power density of 6 W/cm2 proved the suitability of green synthesized NIR absorbing anisotropic gold nanoparticles for photothermal ablation of cancer cells. These gold nanoparticles also showed good X-ray contrast when tested using computed tomography (CT), proving their feasibility for use as a contrast agent as well. This is the first report on green synthesized anisotropic and cytocompatible gold nanoparticles without any capping agents and their suitability for photothermal therapy. © 2014 American Chemical Society.
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S. Fazal, Jayasree, A., Sasidharan, S., Menon, D., Koyakutty, M., and Shantikumar V Nair, “Green synthesis of anisotropic gold nanoparticles for photothermal therapy of cancer”, ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, vol. 6, pp. 8080-8089, 2014.