Synthesis of Gold Nanostructures with Optical Properties within the Near-Infrared Window for Biomedical Applications
Silica-core gold nanoshells
Hollow gold nanoshells
AdvisorGuzman, Roberto Z.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThe work reported in this dissertation describes the design and synthesis of different gold nanoshells with strong absorption coefficients at the near-infrared region (NIR) of the spectrum, and includes preliminary studies of their use for the photo-induced heating of pancreatic cancer cells and ex vivo tissues. As the emphasis was on gold nanoshells with maximum extinctions located at 800 nm, the methods explored for their synthesis led us to the preparation of silica-core and hollow gold nanoshells of improved stability, with maximum extinctions at or beyond the targeted within the near-infrared window. The synthesis of silica-core gold nanoshells was investigated first given its relevance as one of the pioneering methods to produce gold nanostructures with strong absorption and scattering coefficients in the visible and the near-infrared regions of the spectrum. By using a classical method of synthesis, we explored the aging of the precursor materials and the effect of using higher concentrations than the customary for the reduction of gold during the shell growth. We found that the aging for one week of the as-prepared or purified precursors, namely, the gold cluster suspensions, and the seeded silica particles, along with higher concentrations of gold in the plating solution, produced fully coated nanoshells of 120 nm in size with smooth surfaces and maximum extinctions around 800 nm. Additional work carried out to reduce the time and steps in the synthesis of silica-core gold nanoshells, led us to improve the seeding step by increasing the ionic strength of the cluster suspension, and also to explore the growth of gold on tin-seeded silica nanoparticles. The synthesis of hollow gold nanoshells (HGS) of with maximum extinctions at the NIR via the galvanic replacement of silver nanoparticles for gold in solution was explored next. A first method explored led us to obtain HGS with maximum extinctions between 650 and 800 nm and sizes between 30 and 80 nm from silver nanoparticles, which were grown by the addition of silver nitrate and a mild reducer. We developed a second method that led us to obtain HGS with maximum extinctions between 750 and 950 nm by adjusting the pH of the precursor solution of the silver particles without much effort or additional steps. The last part of this work consisted in demonstrating the photo-induced heating of two biological systems containing HGS. Photothermal therapy studies of immobilized PANC1 pancreas cancer cells in well-plates were carried out with functionalized HGS. We found that cells exposed to HGS remained viable after incubation. Moreover, the cells incubated with HGS modified with mercaptoundecanoic acid and folic acid turned non-viable after being irradiated with a laser at 800 nm. The other study consisted in the laser-induced heating between 750 and 1000 nm of ex vivo tissues of chicken and pork with nanoshells injected. In comparison with non-injected tissues, it was found that the temperature at the irradiated areas with HGS increased more than 10 °C. Moreover, the extent of the heated area was broader when the laser was used at wavelengths beyond 900 nm, suggesting that the heating was due to the radiation absorbed and transformed into heat primarily by the HGS and at a lesser extent by the water in the tissue.
Degree ProgramGraduate College