Nanoparticles (NPs) can be used to overcome the side effects of poor distribution of anticancer drugs. Among other NPs, colloidal gold nanoparticles (GNPs) offer the possibility of transporting major quantities of drugs due to their large surface-to-volume ratio. This is while confining these anticancer drugs as closely as possible to their biological targets through passive and active targeting, thus ensuring limited harmful systemic distribution. In this study, we chose to use bleomycin (BLM) as the anticancer drug due to its limited therapeutic efficiency (harmful side effects). BLM was conjugated onto GNPs through a thiol bond. The effectiveness of the chemotherapeutic drug, BLM, is observed by visualizing DNA double strand breaks and by calculating the survival fraction. The action of the drug (where the drug takes effect) is known to be in the nucleus, and our experiments have shown that some of the GNPs carrying BLM were present in the nucleus. The use of GNPs to deliver BLM increased the delivery and therapeutic efficacy of the drug. Having a better control over delivery of anticancer drugs using GNPs will establish a more successful NP-based platform for a combined therapeutic approach. This is due to the fact that GNPs can also be used as radiation dose enhancers in cancer research.
Yang, C., Uertz, J., & Chithrani, D. (2016). Colloidal gold-mediated delivery of bleomycin for improved outcome in chemotherapy. Nanomaterials, 6(3), 48. doi:10.3390/nano6030048
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Trends in Colloidal Nanocrystals)