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Nanomaterials 2016, 6(4), 78; doi:10.3390/nano6040078

Cytotoxic Induction and Photoacoustic Imaging of Breast Cancer Cells Using Astaxanthin-Reduced Gold Nanoparticles

Department of Biomedical Engineering and Marine-Integrated Bionics Research Center, Pukyong National University, Busan 608-737, Korea
Department of Biomedical Engineering and Center for Marine-Integrated Biotechnology (BK21 Plus), Pukyong National University, Busan 608-737, Korea
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Myong-Ji University, San 38-2, Nam-dong, Cheoin-gu, Yongin-si, Gyeonggi-do 449-728, Korea
Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712, USA
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Luigi Pasqua
Received: 25 March 2016 / Revised: 11 April 2016 / Accepted: 14 April 2016 / Published: 20 April 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanomaterials for Cancer Therapies)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [2069 KB, uploaded 20 April 2016]   |  


Astaxanthin, a kind of photosynthetic pigment, was employed for gold nanoparticle formation. Nanoparticles were characterized using Ulteraviolet-Visible (UV-Vis) spectroscopy, transmission electron microscopy, and X-ray diffraction, and the possible presence of astaxanthin functional groups were analyzed by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). The cytotoxic effect of synthesized nanoparticles was evaluated against MDA-MB-231 (human breast cancer cells) using a tetrazolium-based assay, and synthesized nanoparticles exhibited dose-dependent toxicity. The morphology upon cell death was differentiated through fluorescent microscopy using different stains that predicted apoptosis. The synthesized nanoparticles were applied in ultrasound-coupled photoacoustic imaging to obtain good images of treated cells. Astaxanthin-reduced gold nanoparticle has the potential to act as a promising agent in the field of photo-based diagnosis and therapy. View Full-Text
Keywords: astaxanthin; breast cancer; gold nanoparticle; cytotoxicity; photoacoustic imaging astaxanthin; breast cancer; gold nanoparticle; cytotoxicity; photoacoustic imaging

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Bharathiraja, S.; Manivasagan, P.; Quang Bui, N.; Oh, Y.-O.; Lim, I.G.; Park, S.; Oh, J. Cytotoxic Induction and Photoacoustic Imaging of Breast Cancer Cells Using Astaxanthin-Reduced Gold Nanoparticles. Nanomaterials 2016, 6, 78.

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