Development of chitosan oligosaccharide-modified gold nanorods for in vivo targeted delivery and noninvasive imaging by NIR irradiation

Shobhit Charan, Kumar Sanjiv, Narendra Singh, Fan Ching Chien, Yi Fan Chen, Navchtsetseg Navchaa Nergui, Shih Hsin Huang, Chiung Wen Kuo, Te Chang Lee, Peilin Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


In the present study, we demonstrate the synthesis and applications of multifunctional gold nanorod-based probes for specific targeting and noninvasive imaging based on localized heating generated by gold nanorods after NIR irradiation. The structural design of the probe consists of MUA (11-mercaptoundecanoic acid)-capped gold nanorods covalently linked with low-molecular-weight chitosan oligosaccharide (Mw ∼5000) via carbodiimide (EDC) coupling agent. This surface modification is performed for complete replacement of toxic CTAB (hexadecyltrimethyl-ammonium chloride) and acid-responsive delivery of gold nanorods in acidic environment as known to be present at tumor surrounding areas. The resulting chitosan oligosaccharide- modified gold nanorods (CO-GNRs) were further conjugated with tumor targeting monoclonal antibody against EGFR (epidermal growth factor receptor) to provide localized targeting functionality owing to the overexpression of EGFR in human oral adenosquamous carcinoma cell line CAL 27. Initial in vitro and in vivo toxicity assessments indicated that CO-GNRs did not induce any significant toxicity and are thus suitable for biological applications. Furthermore, selective targeting and accumulation of CO-GNRs were observed in vitro via two-photon luminescence imaging studies in CAL 27, which was also observed through in vivo targeting studies performed via NIR (near-infrared) laser irradiation in CAL 27 xenografts of BALB/c nude mice. Hence, the CO-GNRs that we have developed are biocompatible and nontoxic and can be a potential candidate for in vivo targeted delivery, noninvasive imaging based on localized hyperthermia, and photothermal-related therapies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2173-2182
Number of pages10
JournalBioconjugate Chemistry
Issue number11
StatePublished - 21 Nov 2012


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