PerspectiveChemistry

Are Gold Clusters in RF Fields Hot or Not?

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Science  26 Apr 2013:
Vol. 340, Issue 6131, pp. 441-442
DOI: 10.1126/science.1237303

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Summary

Nanoparticles are finding increasing applications in diagnostics, imaging, and therapeutics in biology and medicine. Gold nanoparticles (Au NPs) have received a great deal of interest because of their distinctive optical, electronic, and molecular-recognition properties, as well as biocompatibility. One promising yet ambitious application for Au NPs is noncontact hyperthermia of cancer. By attaching tailor-made ligands, Au NPs can recognize and lock onto receptors on the surface of tumor cells. Under illumination by light, Au NPs can absorb radiation energy and selectively heat and destroy tumor volumes without collateral damage to neighboring healthy tissue. This type of noninvasive, specific, active targeting with Au NPs is highly desirable from a clinical perspective, but its use in cancer intervention has yet to be demonstrated.