Excitement around the potential for targeted nanoparticles (NPs) that can be controlled by stimulus outside of the body for cancer therapy has been growing over the past few years. More specifically, there has been considerable attention around near-infrared NIR light as an ideal method to stimulate nanoparticles from outside the body. NIR is minimally absorbed by skin and tissue, has the ability to penetrate deep tissue in a noninvasive way and the energy from NIR light can be converted to heat by gold nanomaterials for effective thermal ablation of diseased tissue.
In new research from Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), researchers describe the design and effectiveness of a first-of-its-kind, self assembled, multi-functional, NIR responsive gold nanorods that can deliver a chemotherapy drug specifically targeted to cancer cells and selectively release the drug in response to an external beam of light while creating heat for synergistic thermo-chemo mediated anti-tumor efficacy. The study is electronically published in Angewandte Chemie International Edition.