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Research Breakthrough


physical and chemical propertiesSource:Dania Movia, Valerie Gerard, Ciaran Manus Maguire, Namrata Jain, Alan P. Bell, Valeria Nicolosi, Tiina O'Neill, Dimitri Scholz , Yurii Gun'ko, Yuri Volkov, Adriele Prina-Mello., Biomaterials (2014).

Abstract (PDF 5.4MB)

Gold nanomaterials are currently raising a significant interest for human welfare in the field of clinical diagnosis, therapeutics for chronic pathologies, as well as of many other biomedical applications. In particular, gold nanomaterials are becoming a promising technology for developing novel approaches and treatments against widespread societal diseases such as cancer. In this study, we investigated the potential of proprietary gold nanoboxes (AuNBs) as carriers for their perspective translation into multifunctional, pre-clinical nano-enabled systems for personalized medicine approaches against lung cancer. A safe-by-design, tiered approach, with systematic tests conducted in the early phases on uncoated AuNBs and more focused testing on the coated, drug-loaded nanomaterial toward the end, was adopted. Our results showed that uncoated AuNBs could effectively penetrate into human lung adenocarcinoma (A549) cells when in simple (mono-cultures) or complex (co- and three-dimensional-cultures) in vitro microenvironments mimicking the alveolar region of human lungs. Uncoated AuNBs were biologically inert in A549 cells and demonstrated signs of biodegradability. Concurrently, preliminary data revealed that coated, drug-loaded AuNBs could efficiently deliver a chemotherapeutic agent to A549 cells, corroborating the hypothesis that AuNBs could be used in the future for the development of personalized nano-enabled systems for lung cancer treatment.

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