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Conversion of rod-shaped gold nanoparticles to spherical forms and their effect on biodistribution in tumor-bearing mice

Yasuyuki Akiyama1, Takeshi Mori1, Yoshiki Katayama123 and Takuro Niidome123*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Applied Chemistry, Faculty of Engineering, Kyushu University, 744 Motooka, Nishi-ku, Fukuoka, 819-0395, Japan

2 Center for Future Chemistry, Kyushu University, 744 Motooka, Nishi-ku, Fukuoka, 819-0395, Japan

3 International Research Center for Molecular Systems, Kyushu University, 744 Motooka, Nishi-ku, Fukuoka, 819-0395, Japan

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2012, 7:565  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-7-565

Published: 11 October 2012


Gold nanorods that have an absorption band in the near-infrared region and a photothermal effect have been used as nanodevices for near-infrared imaging and thermal therapy. Choice of the optimal shape of gold nanorods which relates optical properties and in vivo biodistribution is important for their applications. In the present study, to investigate the relationship between the shape of gold nanorods and their biodistribution after intravenous injection, we first prepared two types of gold nanorods that had distinct aspect ratios but had the same volume, zeta potential, and PEG density on the gold surface. Biodistributions of the two types of gold nanorods after intravenous injection into tumor-bearing mice were then compared. Although a slight difference in accumulation in the spleen was observed, no significant difference was observed in the liver, lung, kidney, and tumors. These results suggest that biodistribution of the gold nanorods in the aspect ratio range of 1.7 to 5.0, diameter of 10 to 50 nm, and volume of approximately 4 × 103 nm3 was dependent mainly on surface characteristics, PEG density, and zeta potential.

Aspect ratio; Gold nanoparticles; Gold nanorods; Laser; Biodistribution