Mitochondria as a target for radiosensitisation by gold nanoparticles

S. J. McMahon, A. L. McNamara, J. Schuemann, K. M. Prise, H. Paganetti

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13 Citations (Scopus)
226 Downloads (Pure)


While Gold Nanoparticles (GNPs) have been extensively studied as radiosensitisers in recent years, there is a lack of studies of their impact on targets outside of the cell's nuclear DNA. We present Monte Carlo simulations of the energy deposited by X-ray irradiation in mitochondria in cells with and without cytoplasmic GNPs. These simulations show that the presence of GNPs within the cytoplasm can significantly increase (3-4 fold) the number of ionisation clusters of both small and large sizes. As these clusters are strongly associated with DNA damage, these results suggest that mitochondrial DNA may be a significant target for GNP radiosensitisation when the nanoparticles cannot penetrate the cell nucleus.

Original languageEnglish
Article number012008
JournalJournal of Physics: Conference Series
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 03 Feb 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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