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Characterization of Iron Core–Gold Shell Nanoparticles for Anti-Cancer Treatments: Chemical and Structural Transformations During Storage and Use

1
Institute of Oral Medicine and Department of Stomatology, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University Hospital, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan 70101, Taiwan
2
Institute of Biological Chemistry, Academia Sinica, Taipei 11529, Taiwan
3
Center for Micro/Nano Science and Technology, Advanced Optoelectronic Technology Center, Innovation Center for Advanced Medical Device Technology, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan 70101, Taiwan
4
Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan 70101, Taiwan
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National Synchrotron Radiation Research Center, Hsinchu Science-Based Industrial Park, Hsinchu 30076, Taiwan
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Australian Centre for Microscopy & Microanalysis, The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
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School of Chemistry, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia
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Department of Chemical Engineering, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan 70101, Taiwan
9
School of Medical Sciences—The Bosch Institute, The University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Materials 2018, 11(12), 2572; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma11122572
Received: 16 November 2018 / Revised: 10 December 2018 / Accepted: 12 December 2018 / Published: 17 December 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Cancer Nanotechnology)
Finding a cancer-selective drug that avoids damaging healthy cells and organs is a holy grail in medical research. In our previous studies, gold-coated iron ([email protected]) nanoparticles showed cancer selective anti-cancer properties in vitro and in vivo but were found to gradually lose that activity with storage or “ageing”. To determine the reasons for this diminished anti-cancer activity, we examined [email protected] nanoparticles at different preparation and storage stages by means of transmission electron microscopy combined with and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, along with X-ray diffraction analysis and cell viability tests. We found that dried and reconstituted [email protected] nanoparticles, or [email protected] nanoparticles within cells, decompose into irregular fragments of γ-F2O3 and agglomerated gold clumps. These changes cause the loss of the particles’ anti-cancer effects. However, we identified that the anti-cancer properties of [email protected] nanoparticles can be well preserved under argon or, better still, liquid nitrogen storage for six months and at least one year, respectively. View Full-Text
Keywords: biocompatibility; cancer; degradation; nanoparticles; zero-valent iron biocompatibility; cancer; degradation; nanoparticles; zero-valent iron
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Wu, Y.-N.; Shieh, D.-B.; Yang, L.-X.; Sheu, H.-S.; Zheng, R.; Thordarson, P.; Chen, D.-H.; Braet, F. Characterization of Iron Core–Gold Shell Nanoparticles for Anti-Cancer Treatments: Chemical and Structural Transformations During Storage and Use. Materials 2018, 11, 2572.

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