Cancer cells deprived adequate oxygen tension, are called hypoxic cells. Hypoxic shows resistance to both chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy. On the other hand gold Nanoparticles (GNPs) are being used as promising agents in cancer therapy. GNPs can be used as radiosensitizer and drug carrier agents. It also has been show that uptake of GNPs in normal oxygenated (normoxic) cancer cells is maximum for 50 nm GNPs. However, it is important to know the variation in GNPs uptake and toxicity of 50 nm particles in a tumor-like (hypoxic) environment. Hence, we have investigated toxicity and uptake of 50 nm GNPs in hypoxic cancer cells.
MCF-7 (breast cancer cell line) and HeLa (cervical cancer cell line), were used in this study. The results of this study showed that uptake of GNPs in hypoxic cells were dependent on the exposure duration to hypoxic conditions. Cancer cells under prolong hypoxia showed highest GNP uptake.