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Phototherapy: resonant gold nanoparticles in the near infrared for photothermal ablation of tumour cells and for activation of therapeutic genes

15th National Programme for the allocation of Research Grants for Life and Matter Sciences

Biomimetic models

Senior Researcher : Manuel Arruebo Gordo

Research Centre or Institution : Institute of Nanoscience of Aragón. University of Zaragoza.


The development of this research project involves the generation of gold nanoparticles as biomaterials applicable to anti-tumour therapy by photoinduced hyperthermia using a laser in the near infrared (NIR) range in combination with a gene therapy approach to refine the procedure, avoiding adjacent healthy tissue destruction, and strengthening the destruction of the tumour area affected. Specific objectives include: i) to synthesise and characterise properties of nanoparticles with surface plasmon resonance; ii) to demonstrate their physical stability in physiological media and their stability after lyophilisation in order to achieve a pharmacologically stable preparation; iii) to determine the subcytotoxic doses of the nanoparticles to be used in subsequent phototherapy experiments and gene transfer; iv) to implement NIR laser-induced experimental phototherapy equipment; v) to assess the ability of synthesised nanoparticles to raise the temperature of the cells through photoinduced hyperthermia using an NIR laser; vi) to explore the ability of nanoparticles to activate a telltale gene controlled by a human hsp70 gene promoter after application of an NIR laser and produce a localised rise in temperature, and finally vii) to disseminate the results with the aim of assessing the quality of research, expanding understanding, interacting with other groups in the area and continuing with the investigation which has been initiated.

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