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Research at St Andrews

Application of Gold Nanorods for Photothermal Therapy in Ex Vivo Human Oesophagogastric Adenocarcinoma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle



Mohan Singh, David C C Harris-Birtill, Yu Zhou, Maria E Gallina, Anthony E G Cass, George B Hanna, Daniel S Elson

School/Research organisations


Gold nanoparticles are chemically fabricated and tuned to strongly absorb near infrared (NIR) light, enabling deep optical penetration and therapy within human tissues, where sufficient heating induces tumour necrosis. In our studies we aim to establish the optimal gold nanorod (GNR) concentration and laser power for inducing hyperthermic effects in tissues and test this photothermal effect on ex vivo human oesophagogastric adenocarcinoma. The ideal GNR concentration and NIR laser power that would elicit sufficient hyperthermia for tumour necrosis was pre-determined on porcine oesophageal tissues. Human ex vivo oesophageal and gastric adenocarcinoma tissues were incubated with GNR solutions and a GNR-free control solution with corresponding healthy tissues for comparison, then irradiated with NIR light for 10 minutes. Temperature rise was found to vary linearly with both the concentration of GNRs and the laser power. Human ex vivo oesophageal and gastric tissues consistently demonstrated a significant temperature rise when incubated in an optimally concentrated GNR solution (3 x 10(10) GNRs/ml) prior to NIR irradiation delivered at an optimal power (2 W/cm2). A mean temperature rise of 27 degrees C was observed in tissues incubated with GNRs, whereas only a modest 2 degrees C rise in tissues not exposed to any GNRs. This study evaluates the photothermal effects of GNRs on oesophagogastric tissue examines their application in the minimally invasive therapeutics of oesophageal and gastric adenocarcinomas. This could potentially be an effective method of clinically inducing irreversible oesophagogastric tumour photodestruction, with minimal collateral damage expected in (healthy) tissues free from GNRs.



Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)481-90
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Biomedical Nanotechnology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2016

    Research areas

  • Adenocarcinoma, Animals, Apoptosis, Cell Survival, Esophageal Neoplasms, Gold, Humans, Metal Nanoparticles, Nanotubes, Particle Size, Photochemotherapy, Photosensitizing Agents, Stomach Neoplasms, Swine, Treatment Outcome, Tumor Cells, Cultured, Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

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