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Table 1 Summary of the potential medicinal applications of GNRs in nanoform, as well as the main endpoints

From: Synthesis of gold nanorods and their performance in the field of cancer cell imaging and photothermal therapy

Type of nanomaterials Research model Main findings References
Gold nanorods HaCaT cells, HOC 313 clone 8 cells, HSC 3 cells The strongly scattered red light from gold nanorods clearly visualizes and differentiates cancerous cells from nonmalignant cells. It has been discovered that after being exposed to a continuous red laser at 800 nm, malignant cells require approximately half the laser energy to be photothermally killed as nonmalignant cells (Huang et al. 2006)
Gold nanorods HeLa cells The extraction using a chloroform phase containing PC was found to be a useful method for substituting CTAB with other capping agents, such as PC (Takahashi et al. 2006)
Gold nanoparticles Nude mice LOIS can detect gold nanorods in vivo at low concentrations, and the nanoparticles can be modified to improve the diagnostic power of optoacoustic imaging (Eghtedari et al. 2007)
Plasmon-resonant gold nanorods Adherent human KB cells When irradiated with the longitudinal plasmon resonance of the nanorods, the nanorods make tumor cells very sensitive to photothermal damage, causing widespread blistering of cell membranes under laser energy as low as 44 W/cm2 (Huff et al. 2007)
Gold nanorods Human umbilical vein endothelial cells The use of bioconjugated gold nanorods for photoacoustic imaging of inflammation (Kim et al. 2007)
Transferrin-conjugated gold nanorods HeLa cells After a few hours of incubation with the nanorods, the cancer cells may be clearly observed. Simultaneous imaging and highly targeted PTT may be accomplished without causing any harming to the healthy tissue that is exposed to the laser beam (Li et al. 2008a)
Gold nanorods OECM1 cells, Cal27 cells, mice In vitro and in vivo mouse model imaging investigations were carried out, with contrast enhancements of up to 10 dB and 3.5 dB, respectively (Li et al. 2008b)
CTAB/PAA/PAH capped gold nanorod Human colon carcinoma cells (HT-29) The apparent cytotoxicity is due to free CTAB in solution. The addition of polymers to the nanorods significantly lowers cytotoxicity (Alkilany et al. 2009)
Polymeric entrapped thio-coated gold nanorods Mouse fibroblasts (Balb/3T3) In our in vitro model, signals with satisfying signal-to-noise ratios were obtained down to concentrations of 11 mM, equivalent to subtoxic concentration (Franchini et al. 2010)
Gold nanorods Human prostate cancer cell line (PC3-PSMA) The model was expanded to examine at the effect of preferential binding of gold nanorods to cancer cells vs non-malignant cells, as well as a slight variation in cell damage activation energy (Huang et al. 2010)
RGD-conjugated dendrimer-modified gold nanorods MCF-7 cells, HUVEC cells, A375 cells, mice Under NIR laser irradiation, the RGD-conjugated dGNR nanoprobes are not cytotoxic, can precisely target tumor cells and vascular cells inside tumor tissues, and have selective damaging effects on melanoma cells. They can even cause a portion of a tumor's tissues to vanish in mice (Li et al. 2010b)
Gold nanorods coated with polyamidoamine dendrimer MCF-7 cells Gold nanorods have a tunable absorbance band at 850 nm, which may be used to track their position in cancer cells. They can also be utilized to boost the production of brcaa1-shRNA in MCF-7 cells and limit the development of MCF-7 cells when exposed to local infrared irradiation (Cui et al. 2011)
Folic acid-conjugated silica-modified GNRs MGC803 cells, nude mice Folic acid-conjugated silica-modified GNRs display extremely selective targeting, improved RT and PTT effects on MGC803 gastric cancer cells, as well as substantial X-ray attenuation for in vivo X-ray and computed tomography (CT) imaging (Huang et al. 2011)
Gold nanorods Macrophage cell line (Ana-1 cells) and E knockout (Apo E) mouse Even at low GNRs concentrations and NIR powers, in vitro photothermal ablation therapy with GNRs demonstrated considerable cell-killing effectiveness of macrophages. Furthermore, in vivo experiments showed that GNRs are useful for in vivo imaging and photothermal treatment of inflammatory macrophages in femoral artery restenosis (Qin et al. 2015)
Polycationic gold nanorods J774a.1 monocyte
/macrophagic cells
Polycationic gold nanorods are efficiently and reproducibly taken up by tumor-tropic cells such as macrophages, preserving their survival as well as more than 90% of their inherent chemotactic activity in vitro (Ratto et al. 2016)
silica-coated gold nanorods (GNR@SiO2), Indocyanine Green (ICG), 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) A375 cells, mice GNR@SiO2-5-FU-ICG can promote heat generation and singlet oxygen formation when exposed to light. The trimodal synergistic therapy with multimodal imaging guidance significantly improved treatment effectiveness (Fang et al. 2017)
Gold nanorods Immunodeficient BALB/c mice Spectroscopy and transmission electron microscopy are utilized in this work to show that GNRs reshape in vitro and in vivo following CW irradiation, reducing their absorption efficiency (Harris-Birtill et al. 2017)
Gold nanorods Mice In vivo imaging of single gold nanorods flowing in mouse ear blood arteries demonstrates the use of gold nanorods as two-photon luminescence imaging agents (Villar-Alvarez et al. 2018)
Aptamer gold nanorods KB cancer cells The samples were irradiated with an 845 nm light-emitting diode, the targeted KB cells demonstrated 80% cell mortality when compared to the unirradiated and aptamer-free controls. Based on Apt-GNRs' low toxicity, biocompatibility, and selectivity, the suggested nanoplatform offers substantial potential in vivo as a cancer therapeutic (Noh et al. 2019)
Gold nanorods Malignant (MCF-7) breast cell lines Multiple variations were evaluated, including HP concentration (10% and 100%), heating modalities, laser induction period (10, 30, and 60 min), and cell line type (normal and malignant); all of these factors might be contentious (Hashemi et al. 2019)
Plasmonic nanohybrid with gold nanorods and graphene oxide HeLa tumor cells, normal human cell line (HUVECs), mice The plasmonic AuNRs/GO nanohybrid is a stand-alone PTA that can conduct simultaneous antibacterial/anticancer PTT for just 5 min under low power NIR laser activation, with no systemic adverse effects (Younis et al. 2019)
Mesoporous silica-coated gold nanorods MDR SW620/Ad300 cells The nanocomposite demonstrated very effective photothermal conversion in the NIR region, a pH and NIR induced drug release profile, and an increase in DOX intracellular accumulation and cytotoxicity in MDR SW620/Ad300 cells (Li et al. 2020a)
GNRs/mSiO2/PHIS/TPGS/DOX) SW620/Ad300 tumor bearing mice Most notably, as compared to other control groups using either chemo- or photothermal treatment alone on SW620/Ad300 tumor bearing mice, the nanocomposite demonstrated the most effective antitumor activity with no clear systemic damage (Jiang et al. 2020)
Gold nanorods (GNRs) on silver-island film HeLa human cervix adenocarcinoma cells, exosome, plasma Gold nanorods (GNRs) on silver-island film can produce 360-fold AF647 molecule fluorescence enhancement compared to glass. Utilizing the enhanced fluorescence from the substrate, GNRs attached with the biomolecules and create a sandwich immunoassay that can significantly detect human CD63 antigen on the exosome (Naseer et al. 2021)