Imaging and radiation effects of gold nanoparticles in tumour cells

Harold N McQuaid, Mark F Muir, Laura E Taggart, Stephen J McMahon, Jonathan A Coulter, Wendy B. Hyland, Suneil Jain, Karl T Butterworth, Giuseppe Schettino, Kevin M Prise, David Hirst, Stanley W Botchway, Frederick Currell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Citations (Scopus)
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Gold nanoparticle radiosensitization represents a novel technique in enhancement of ionising radiation dose and its effect on biological systems. Variation between theoretical predictions and experimental measurement is significant enough that the mechanism leading to an increase in cell killing and DNA damage is still not clear. We present the first experimental results that take into account both the measured biodistribution of gold nanoparticles at the cellular level and the range of the product electrons responsible for energy deposition. Combining synchrotron-generated monoenergetic X-rays, intracellular gold particle imaging and DNA damage assays, has enabled a DNA damage model to be generated that includes the production of intermediate electrons. We can therefore show for the first time good agreement between the prediction of biological outcomes from both the Local Effect Model and a DNA damage model with experimentally observed cell killing and DNA damage induction via the combination of X-rays and GNPs. However, the requirement of two distinct models as indicated by this mechanistic study, one for short-term DNA damage and another for cell survival, indicates that, at least for nanoparticle enhancement, it is not safe to equate the lethal lesions invoked in the local effect model with DNA damage events.

Original languageEnglish
Article number19442
Number of pages10
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jan 2016


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