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Incorporating gold nanoparticles in therapeutic films can facilitate controlled release and precise delivery offering the promise of improved therapies for diseases where drug delivery is a major challenge.

NanoHybrids's insight:

Midasol Therapeutics, a joint venture between MonoSol Rx and Midatech Pharma recently initiated a Phase 2a study for Midaform® Insulin PharmFilm®, MSL- 001, having successfully completed Phase 1 studies. 

Insulin PharmFilm, the company's proprietary nanoformulated transbuccal insulin film aims to solve one of the biggest pain points (pun intended) in Diabetes. The special film delivers insulin through the use of a rapidly dissolving mucoadhesive film that is placed on the inside of the cheek.

MSL-001 contains recombinant human insulin, which is non-covalently bound to glycan-coated gold nanoparticles and embedded in an oral, mucoadhesive, polymeric film for transbuccal delivery. 

Keith Kendall, Chief Executive Officer said, "We continue to be excited about the prospects of our oral insulin product and the medical need it solves for patients that have long sought a needle-free insulin delivery." 


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Sebacia, a Georgia based company is working on new light-based therapies for the treatment of dermatological conditions. The company's idea? Zap acne with gold microparticles!



Image Source: Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

NanoHybrids's insight:

 Sebacia microparticles are hybrids of silica & gold and are placed in a suspension to penetrate sebaceous follicles. The particles can be activated by a laser pulse that creates a focused photothermal effect in the follicle and reduces the activity level of the gland and the inflammatory lesions that cause acne. The lasers used for the procedure have low safety concerns since they are based on commonlyusedhairremovallasers.

Earlier this month, the company announced the completion of a $22 million Series C financing. With the proceeds of the financing, Sebacia plans to complete its pivotal U.S. clinical trial and the application for FDA approval as a device to treat moderate to severe acne, expand its IP portfolio, and prepare for manufacturing scale-up to support product launches.

“If approved, the Sebacia Treatment would be the firstprocedure performed by a dermatologist that is intended to provide relief from acne without use of daily pills, lotions and creams,” said Sebacia’s CEO, Anthony Lando.



Gold Nanoparticles have been shown to be highly effective in photothermal therapy due to their superior plasmonic properties. 
More info here:

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Cheaper, Faster Prostate Cancer Test using Gold Nanoparticles?

Cheaper, Faster Prostate Cancer Test using Gold Nanoparticles? | Nanotechnology & Imaging |

Early detection of prostate cancer can be critical. Screening test results may reveal prostate cancer before it becomes life-threatening or causes serious symptoms.

NanoHybrids's insight:

A team of University of Central Florida researchers led by Dr. Qun “Treen” Huo has developed a gold nanoparticle based dynamic light scattering assay to screen for prostate cancer.


When citrate coated gold nanoparticles are mixed with blood sera, a protein corona is formed on the nanoparticle surface due to the adsorption of blood proteins onto the nanoparticles. A two-step gold nanoparticle-enabled dynamic light scattering assay measures the amount of human immunoglobulin G (IgG) in the gold nanoparticle protein corona. According to the study results,  the amount of IgG is higher in prostate cancer patients compared to noncancer controls.

What's unique: 

The test is expected to be cheap ($10-20 per test) and quick.

Whether it will be better than currently available screening assays remains to be seen. More extensive studies are under way to further evaluate and validate the clinical potential of the new test.
Source: Herald News, Researchers use gold nanoparticles to detect cancer risk, May 12, 2015

Original Paper:

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NanoHybrids now also offers citrate-coated 40 nm Gold NanoSpheres for immunoassays. Contact us at info at to beta test these particles. 

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"STRIKING GOLD" IN ACNE TREATMENT | Nanotechnology & Imaging |

In vitro studies and in vivo human pilot clinical studies examining the use of inert, inorganic silica–gold nanoshells for acne.

Acne is a widely prevalent and researched, yet poorly treated disease.

The researchers used ~ 150 nm silica–gold nanoshells, tuned to absorb near-infrared light and near-infrared laser irradiation. These particles can cause focal thermolysis of overactive sebaceous glands in the skin when hit with a near-infrared laser. Low-frequency ultrasound was used to facilitate deep glandular penetration of the nanoshells.

No damage to surrounding skin was observed.

Why it works:
Overactive sebaceous glands produce sebum that leads to potential blockage of follicles and is responsible for acne formation.The gold coated silica nanoparticles are sensitive to the near-infrared frequency of light, and in turn resonate and generate local points of heat. This heat prevents the secretion of sebum from treated sebaceous glands thus treating one of the root causes of acne. 

Behind the study is Sebacia Inc, a company that aims to revolutionize acne treatment in collaboration with researchers from UC Santa Barbara and other clinical collaborators.

Link to original paper:

More about why the combination of gold and silica works so well:

Plasmonic properties of gold nanoparticles:

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Global Gold Nanoparticles Market Analysis: Market size, Growth, Industry Trends To 2020

Global Gold Nanoparticles Market Analysis: Market size, Growth, Industry Trends To 2020 | Nanotechnology & Imaging |

Global gold nanoparticles market is expected to reach USD 4.86 billion by 2020, according to a new study by Grand View Research, Inc. Medical & dentistry was the largest end-use segment for the gold nanoparticles and accounted for over 50% of total demand in 2013. Growing metal nanomaterials use in medical diagnostics & imaging especially for drug delivery systems in cancer & tumor cell detection is expected to drive gold nanoparticles demand over the forecast period.


North America dominated the global gold nanoparticles market accounting for over 30% of global volume in 2013. Increasing R&D spending by individual nanotechnology companies and universities along with expanding medical diagnostics industry is expected to be the major factors driving gold nanoparticles demand in the region. Asia Pacific is estimated to witness the fastest growth at a CAGR of over 25% from 2014 to 2020. Growth of nanomaterials industry in countries including China, Taiwan, South Korea and Japan along with emergence of these regions as electronic manufacturing hubs is expected to fuel market growth over the next six years.


View summary of this report @

Further key findings from the study suggest:

In terms of volume, global gold nanoparticles market was estimated at over 3 tons in 2013, however, growth of several end-use industries and development of niche applications such as glass tinting and fruit & vegetable protection is anticipated to fuel future demand.Europe gold nanoparticles market accounted for over 20% of global revenue and is estimated to witness stable demand over the next few years owing to financial instability in the region.Electronic industry is estimated to witness the fastest growth at a CAGR of over 20% from 2014 to 2020. High demand for electronic biosensors and compact storage devices which requires gold nanoparticles inks and nanowires is estimated to drive market growth.Companies such as nanoComposix have developed proprietary technology for biosynthesis of nanoparticles. Others nanobiotechnology companies are expected to follow similar trends in order to develop innovative and ecofriendly methods for manufacturing gold nanoparticles.Global gold nanoparticles market is moderately fragmented with small regional and global manufacturers. Companies are continuously involved in R&D and are focusing towards developing application specific finished products. Major companies operating in global market include BBI Solutions, Nanosphere, Nanostellar Inc., Cytodiagnostics and Sigma-Aldrich.


Browse All Reports of this category @

For the purpose of this study, Grand View Research has segmented the gold nanoparticles market on the basis of end-use and region:


Global Gold Nanoparticles Market End-Use Outlook (Volume, Tons, Revenue, USD Million, 2012 - 2020)

    • Medical & dentistry

    • Electronics

    • Catalysis

    • Others (Glass, Cosmetics & Photometry)

Global Gold Nanoparticles Market Regional Outlook (Volume, Tons, Revenue, USD Million, 2012 - 2020)

    • North America

    • Europe

    • Asia Pacific

    • RoW

Via Haakon Johnson
Haakon Johnson's curator insight, January 27, 2015 3:58 AM

About Grand View Research

Grand View Research, Inc. is a U.S. based market research and consulting company, registered in the State of California and headquartered in San Francisco. The company provides syndicated research reports, customized research reports, and consulting services. To help clients make informed business decisions, the company offers market intelligence studies ensuring relevant and fact-based research across a range of industries including technology, chemicals, materials, healthcare and energy.



Sherry James

Corporate Sales Specialist, U.S.A.

Grand View Research, Inc.

United States

Phone:  1-415-349-0058

Toll Free:  1-888-202-9519


Website: Grand View Research

Blog Site:

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Google Search: Nanobot that can find cancerous cells

Google Search: Nanobot that can find cancerous cells | Nanotechnology & Imaging |

What if you could swallow a nanobot that would travel through your blood stream and gather information about your health? What if this were happening in real life and not a sci fi movie? Google has ambitious plans to merge fantasy and reality in its next big venture.

NanoHybrids's insight:

Google X aims to create functionalized nanoparticles designed to bind to specific biomarkers, such as circulating tumor cells. The company seeks to make the nanoparticles in pill form so they can be swallowed and enter the bloodstream. The nanoparticles’ tiny cores could be made from magnetic iron oxide, an FDA approved nanomaterial. A wearable device that creates a magnetic field could summon the particles from outside the body and provide useful information to medical professionals about the detected biomarkers.

According to  a statement released by Google, the nanoparticle project involves more than 100 Google employees drawn from disciplines including astrophysics, chemistry and electrical engineering. Google hasn't revealed how much it is spending on the project.

The goal is to provide an early detection system for cancer and other diseases, with an eye toward timely and more effective treatment.

“Every test you ever go to the doctor for will be done through this system,” said Andrew Conrad, head of the Life Sciences team at the Google X research lab “That is our dream.”
Nanoparticles are already being used in small animal imaging and other research applications that might eventually translate into clinical medicine: ;

Maybe, the team at Google X will have to work through a host of obstacles. Maybe, it will take more than a decade to bring this product to market as some experts have predicted. But it may not be a pipe dream after all. 

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What's Ancient Greece have to do with Gold Nanoparticles?

What's Ancient Greece have to do with Gold Nanoparticles? | Nanotechnology & Imaging |

First successful chemo-radiotherapy on patient derived treatment resistant GBM cells using a cisplatin-tethered gold nanosphere as Trojan Horse.

NanoHybrids's insight:

Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), a type of brain cancer has proven extremely resistant to treatments. The glioblastoma tumour cells invade surrounding, healthy brain tissue, making surgical removal of the tumour virtually impossible. 

Chemotherapy can be used to curtail tumor spread but often times, it has a temporary effect as the tumor cell population recovers to cause renewed havoc. 

A new type of therapy involving the use of gold nanoparticles gives the cancer cells a ‘double whammy’ and may open up new treatment options in the future according to a research group led by Mark Welland, Professor of Nanotechnology at the Department of Engineering and a Fellow of St John’s College, University of Cambridge, and Dr Colin Watts, a clinician scientist and honorary consultant neurosurgeon at the Department of Clinical Neurosciences. 

The researchers enclosed cisplatin-tethered gold nanoparticles inside a positively charged polymer, polyethylenimine to aid cell ingestion. Once the particles entered the cell, they were excited by standard radiotherapy, which GBM patients undergo as a matter of course. The radiotherapy released electrons that in turn attacked cancer cell DNA. The combination of Cisplatin and radiotherapy resulted in enhanced synergy in zapping the cancer cells. 

According to the research group, further work needs to be done to determine how best to deliver the gold nanoparticle based therapy and to research various modifications in size and surface chemistry of the nanoparticles to make the therapy safer for clinical use.

More details:
Original research paper:!divAbstract

Gold nanoparticles are promising candidates in the applications of drug delivery thanks to their unique dimensions, tunable functionalities on the surface and controllable drug release. The silica shell of our silica-coated gold nanoparticles can be loaded with drugs, dyes, and other labeling molecules facilitating theranostic applications.

Find out more about silica-coated gold nanoparticles:

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Oraya Therapeutics receives grant to study use of gold nanoparticles for sterotactic radiotherapy to treat Macular Degeneration

Oraya Therapeutics receives grant to study use of gold nanoparticles for sterotactic radiotherapy to treat Macular Degeneration | Nanotechnology & Imaging |

Oraya Therapeutics was awarded an SBIR Phase I grant from the NIH to investigate how Oraya Therapy, a low voltage stereotactic radiotherapy coupled with gold nanoparticles can be used for the treatment of wet age-related macular degeneration (Wet AMD). 

NanoHybrids's insight:

Gold nanoparticles conjugated to specific proteins of interest will be used to target neovascular endothelial cells, the key therapeutic target in Wet AMD. Low-energy X-rays will then be delivered to the targeted gold nanoparticles thereby activating them and releasing micrometer range electrons that zap the diseased cells. According to the researchers, this can be achieved with little or no damage or toxicity to surrounding tissue. If successful, the research could have implications for cancer therapy as well.


Gold nanoparticles can be conjugated to proteins, antibodies, DNA and other moeities to target molecules of interest. Read more about molecular targeting using gold nanospheres and nanorods:

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Timing it right: Nanoparticles in Cancer chemotherapy

Timing it right: Nanoparticles in Cancer chemotherapy | Nanotechnology & Imaging |

Nanoparticles loaded with two drugs facilitate precisely staggered delivery to zap tumors more effectively. 

NanoHybrids's insight:

In 2012, a team of researchers from MIT led by Professor Michael Yaffe studied triple negative breast cancer cells (ER/PR negative and HER2 negative) and discovered that pretreatment using erlotinib (EGFR receptor blocker) and then treatment with doxorubicin, a common chemotherapy agent dramatically increased cancer-cell death. Since such cancers account for more than 16% of breast cancer cases, this finding could be extremely significant.

However, there is always the matter of translation from cells to the clinic. And the team is back with more. 

This time, the researchers designed liposomal nanoparticles that carry doxorubicin inside their core with erlotinib embedded in the outer layer. A PEG coating protects the cells from being broken down or excreted by the liver or kidneys. A folate tag helps them target tumor cells that overexpress folate receptors. 

The tumor targeting using nanoparticles is key because it addresses one of the main cons of traditional chemotherapy- the wipeout of normal cell which in turn weakens the immune system and worsens patient survival.

After cell uptake, the nanoparticles break down releasing erlotinib slowly first followed by doxorubicin, giving the former enough time to weaken the tumor cells' defenses.   

The nanoparticles were tested in mice with two types of human tumors: triple-negative breast cancer and non-small-cell lung cancer. 
Both types shrank significantly in response to the dual particles. The researchers also found that the liposomal packaging increased effectiveness significantly in comparison to staggered delivery of the two drugs.

The next step? Further animal studies followed by clinical trials. If everything goes well, drug delivery timing may soon be one more arsenal in the fight against cancer. 

Original research paper:

Considering drug delivery studies using nanoparticles? Check out our products:

Our silica-coated particles ( can be bioconjugated with different moeities including antibodies and DNA and also loaded with drugs, dyes, or other labeling molecules. 

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How to measure nanoparticle size distribution

How to measure nanoparticle size distribution | Nanotechnology & Imaging |

'Keep Calm and Publish Papers' should be the mantra of every scientist. But it is also a Youtube channel that has several useful how-to videos for researchers like us.

NanoHybrids's insight:

The  tutorial "Measuring Nanoparticle Size Distribution using SEM pic." shows how to describe particles size using multiple length and width measures based on Scanning Electron Microscope images.

According to the video, this method is accurate and helps determine surface-to-volume ratio which along with size determines many of the chemical, electrochemical, mechanical and electronic properties of nanoparticles. This may be a good solution to obtain accurate particle size distribution and aspect ratio when automated image analysis methods fail. The video takes users through a step-wise visual explanation on Microsoft Visio. 

At NanoHybrids, we understand the challenges faced by researchers during size estimation. We use standard methods of characterization including TEM to measure gold nanoparticle sizes. Our gold nanorods and nanospheres are extremely monodisperse to ensure consistent results. Our detailed tech spec sheets provide all the information you need to publish your research. Of course, having reliable characterization data from an established company also helps during the publication review process. 
Take a look at one of our product pages with a link to its tech spec sheet:

Questions? Comments? Feel free to contact us at info at 

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Gold Nanoparticles used for breast cancer diagnosis by detecting BRCA1 mRNA splice variants

Gold Nanoparticles used for breast cancer diagnosis by detecting BRCA1 mRNA splice variants | Nanotechnology & Imaging |

A new way to detect breast cancer by using gold nanoparticles that target BRCA1 mRNA splice variants. Underexpression = possible sign of cancer.

NanoHybrids's insight:


Underesxpression of BRCA1, a tumor supressor gene is associated with inability to repair damaged DNA which in turn can promote tumorogenesis.

mRNA splice variants are fragments of genetic material that are created when mRNA is spliced to remove the non-coding regions.
Splice variants are known to influence a cell's fate and can also control protein expression. Splicing errors are linked to several diseases.

It has been proposed that breast cancer can be detected by looking at the number of BRCA1 mRNA splice variants in a cell to check if the gene is being underexpressed, making the cell vulnerable. But standard methods of detecting cancer look at thousands of cells as a whole and cannot examine individual cells to provide gene expression data.

A team of researchers led by Joseph Irudayaraj, professor of agricultural and biological engineering, at Purdue University, have discovered a way to detect breast cancer by using gold nanoparticles that bind to BRCA1 mRNA splice variants.

The gold nanoparticle probes are first functionalized with oligonucleotides then hybridized to specific mRNA sequences. Together, the particles and the mRNA form dimers that exhibit distinct properties due to plasmonic coupling and can be differentiated from free, unbound gold nanoparticles.

When the cells are imaged using spectroscopy, the higher the number of splice variants, the higher the signal emitted by the gold nanoparticle contrast agents.

"If we can quantify key mRNA at single cell resolution in a tissue biopsy, that will be very powerful in terms of refining treatment protocols for key diseases," Dr. Irudayaraj said in a press release associated with the study.

Original publication:


Gold Nanoparticles can be conjugated with oligonucleotides, antibodies and other moieties to enable targeting. Read more about molecular targeting using nanoparticle probes:

Buy Gold Nanoparticles for Research Use:

#nanoparticles #gold #nanotechnology #conjugation

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Buying Gold Nanoparticles? Are they monodisperse?

Buying Gold Nanoparticles? Are they monodisperse? | Nanotechnology & Imaging |

Choose Monodisperse Gold Nanoparticles to obtain high-quality, reproducible study data.

NanoHybrids's insight:

While purchasing gold nanoparticles, it is important to ensure that they are monodisperse. A highly variable size within a sample as well as batch-to-batch variations can both affect data quality.

As scientists, we at NanoHybrids understand the importance of reproducible data. so our nanoparticles are not only monodisperse, we also take great care to minimize batch-to-batch variations. 

Our Product lines:

LSPR options: 780 nm, 808 nm, 850 nm and 1064 nm
Coatings: CTAB, PEG, Silica, Silica and PEG

Available diameters: 5 nm, 10 nm and 20 nm
Coatings: Citrate, PEG, Silica, Silica and PEG

If you don't see the specs you are looking for, feel free to contact us at info at nanohybrids dot net about custom orders. 

Frequently Asked Questions about our products:

   #buynanoparticles   #nanoparticleproducts  

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With nanomaterials, even if the original form of the bulk material has been proven to be safe, materials may exhibit different properties at the nano-scale.

NanoHybrids's insight:

Nanomaterials such as gold nanoparticles are being used in an ever expanding list of biological applications ( Some examples: But concerns about their potential toxicity persist. Even if the original form of the bulk material has been proven to be safe, materials may exhibit different properties at the nano-scale.

It is important to find out the precise levels at which engineered nanomaterials are unsafe for humans, so knowing the exact amount of administered nanomaterials interacting with cells and tissues is key.

Unlike chemicals and traditional drugs, engineered nanoparticles in cellular media interact with serum proteins and form aggregates altering their active surface area as well as effective density which in turn affects how they interact with cells. This also presents a challenge to scientists trying to characterize and measure these interactions.

A team of scientists at Harvard School of Public Health, led by Dr. Philip Demokritou has come up with a quick, simple, and cost-effective method to solve this problem. The new method known as the Volumetric Centrifugation Method (VCM) measures the effective density of engineered nanoparticles in physiological fluids thus making it possible to find out the exact amount of nanomaterials that come into contact with cells and tissue during in vitro studies. 

This research may have implications on the hazard assessment of engineered nanoparticles. A deeper understanding of nanoparticle-cell interactions may also pave the way to safer and more effective nano-based drug-delivery methods for nanomedicine applications.


Original Research Article:

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Silica-coated Gold Nanoparticles: Surface Chemistry, Properties, Benefits and Applications

Silica-coated Gold Nanoparticles: Surface Chemistry, Properties, Benefits and Applications | Nanotechnology & Imaging |

"Uncoated gold nanoparticles are susceptible to aggregation in solution and can melt under laser irradiation, both of which cause significant changes in their optical properties. When their surface is properly passivated by chemical functionalization, they can resist aggregation and shape change under a wide range of biological, physical and environmental conditions, allowing for the preservation of their optical properties.


One such robust functionalization that has been proven to enhance gold nanoparticle stability both thermodynamically and chemically is silica coating. The excellent stability and functionality conferred by silica coating makes it a superior choice for many applications."

NanoHybrids's insight:

Sigma Aldrich  recently published a technical spotlight article (Authors: Dr. Kimberly Homan, CTO, NanoHybrids & Dr. Nishi Viswanathan, Director- Product Development, NanoHybrids) focusing on the benefits of silica-coated gold nanorods and nanospheres for various applications including:

1. Photoacoustic Imaging
2. Cell Tracking
3. Targeted drug delivery
4. Multiplex imaging
5. Dual Mode/Multimodal imaging
6. Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS)
7. Two-photon imaging
8. Biomolecular probes
9. Catalysts
10. Photonics


Why use silica-coated gold nanoparticles:

Buy our Silica-coated gold nanoparticles:  ;

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Delivery of therapeutic agents remains a therapeutic challenge for many of today's novel molecules & biologics. Often, the aim of drug delivery research is to control the release and local bioavailability of drugs with precision.  

NanoHybrids's insight:

A new system for on-demand delivery of drugs using PEGylated gold nanoparticles is the focus of a new study published recently in the journal Advanced Healthcare Materials. The researchers from Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering and Royal College of Surgeons, Ireland  have fabricated and characterized a hydrogel made of seaweed-derived alginate that contains gold nanoparticles. This hydrogel can be used for the precise controlled delivery of BMP-2, a clinically used drug to enhance fracture healing. The gold nanoparticles are entrapped in the hydrogel and are only released when triggered by ultrasound.

This increased control offered by the "on-demand" system can potentially reduce bioagent payload which in turn can improve safety and possibly even reduce costs.

In vivo studies will be conducted on the system to test efficacy and the safety profile. 

Link to original study abstract:

PEGylated gold nanoparticles lend themselves to drug delivery applications thanks to their biological inertness, ability to carry drugs and evade the immune system, superior plasmonic properties and molecular targeting capacity. 

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Crossing the Blood Brain Barrier Chasm with Gold Nanoparticles

Crossing the Blood Brain Barrier Chasm with Gold Nanoparticles | Nanotechnology & Imaging |

MicroRNA can be used to inhibit certain signaling molecules in glioblastoma multiforme. But getting the microRNA to the right target is always a challenge. Tiny gold nanoparticles functionalized with microRNA may do the trick.

NanoHybrids's insight:

Around 16,000 new cases of Glioblastoma multiforme are reported in the U.S. every year. Patients usually have a very poor prognosis, with median survival of just 14 to 16 months.

Possible Solution: 
MicroRNA, a type of short non-coding RNA that can bind to hundreds of genes to reduce their protein expression in cells. The molecule miR-182 is a type of microRNA that has been shown to suppress Bcl2L12, a cancer signaling gene that blocks cancer apoptosis in response to therapy. miR-182 also inhibits two other oncogenes, c-Met and HIF2A.

Problem again:
Getting the miR-182 to specific targets and of course crossing the biggest hurdle- the blood brain barrier.

Solution proposed:
A new study, published recently in Genes and Development, used a nanostructure called spherical nucleic acids (SNAs) to safely transport miR-182 across the blood-brain barrier to reach tumor cells. 

SNAs are a structure consisting of gold nanoparticles covalently functionalized with microRNA, invented by Northwestern colleague and study co-author Chad Mirkin, the George B. Rathmann Professor of Chemistry at the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences and a professor of medicine at Feinberg. 

There is a growing body of research suggesting that microRNA are effective tumor gene silencers but delivery has always been one of the biggest challenges in clinical translation. Hopefully, studies such as these will lay the foundation for further work in the field and improve our knowledge of these  molecules.

Link to original study:

Press release:

More about targeting using gold nanoparticles:

Buy 5 nm gold nanospheres:

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Why are Gold Nanoparticles like Swiss Army Knives?

Why are Gold Nanoparticles like Swiss Army Knives? | Nanotechnology & Imaging |
NanoHybrids's insight:

Because they can be used to combine two forms of tumor treatment and three imaging techniques according to researchers from Imperial College London. The team has designed hybrid gold-silica nanoparticles with high drug loading capacity that can be used as contrast agents in Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Near-infrared fluoroscence imaging and Photoacoustic Imaging.

The nanoparticles consist of a mesoporous silica shell that has gold quantum dots seeded throughout the particle. Gold quantum dots are tiny nanoparticles (< 2 nanometers) with unique properties (fluorescence, heat production, magnetism) that are very different from those of solid gold, or even larger gold nanoparticles. However, they haven't gained popularity in the biomedical field due to their lack of stability and tendency to aggregate. The silica shell helps stabilize the particles and reduce biotoxicity. It also preserves the optical and magnetic properties of gold quantum dots, while maximizing their drug loading capacity.

The particles when excited by an infrared laser emit fluoroscence and aslo get heated up to kill surrounding cancer cells. Their temporary dilation as they heat up also enables their use as photoacoustic contrast agents. 

Further research is being conducted to optimize the size of the particles and target them to specific cancer markers. 

Link to original study:

Benefits of silica-coated gold nanoparticles:;

Photoacoustic Imaging 101:

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Gold Nanorods as Anti-cancer agents?

Gold Nanorods as Anti-cancer agents? | Nanotechnology & Imaging |

Gold nanoparticles are "theranostic" agents in that they can not only be used as imaging agents but also as carriers for drugs, nucleic acids and other molecules. A new study published by researchers at Swinburne University explores their potential anti-cancer effect. 

NanoHybrids's insight:

Gold Nanorods can be functionalized and conjugated with antibodies, proteins, DNA and other moeties to target cancer cells and facilitate therapy. 

A recent study published by researchers at the Centre for Micro-Photonics at Swinburne University of Technology, Australia has shown that gold nanorods can potentially inhibit cancer cell growth in cervical cancer. 

The reseachers led by Associate Professor Andrew Clayton and Associate Professor James Chon treated HeLa cells with gold nanorods conjugated with EGF (Epidermal Growth Factor) protein.

“Cell receptors send growth signals to the cell by binding with an external molecule called a growth factor and then clustering together,” Dr Dr. Chiara Paviolo, the study author said in an associated press release. 

“By placing growth factors at the ends of 100nm gold nanorods we could prevent the clustering of the receptors at a defined distance and thereby shut off the growth signal,” she said.

“The simple explanation is that receptors need to cluster together to send a signal but if you keep them apart, it stops them from signalling.”

Of course, since this is an early study, further research in this area must be conducted to explore the clinical translation potential of gold nanorods as anti-cancer agents.


Press release:

Read more about conjugating gold nanorods for molecular targeting:

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Meet the multi-tasking nanoparticle

Meet the multi-tasking nanoparticle | Nanotechnology & Imaging |

As nanotechnology makes its transition from the lab into the clinic, nanoparticles will likely play an important role in the diagnosis and treatment of disease. Nanoparticles are usually designed to display specific properties that enable a specific function. In a recent study, researchers from UC Davis present the multi-tasking nanoparticle.

NanoHybrids's insight:

The particles, created using a combination of the organic compounds: porphyrin and naturally produced cholic acid also include the amino acid cysteine. This combination means that they can be used for: 

- Drug loading and delivery 
- Imaging contrast - the particles selectively accumulate in tumors
- Photodynamic therapy to destroy tumors as they have the ability release a singlet of oxygen in response to light
- Photothermal therapy to heat the particles using lasers which in turn can induce targeted killing of tumor cells

Since the particles are organic, they are not only multifunctional but also nontoxic and biocompatible. 

Read more:


Learn more about tumor targeting with nanoparticles at: ;

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Save 25% on Gold Nanoparticles - marketplace

Save 25% on Gold Nanoparticles - marketplace | Nanotechnology & Imaging |

For a limited, time, enter promo code NAT25 on checkout to get a 25% discount on all our Gold Nanorods and Nanospheres.

NanoHybrids's insight:

Our Products:

Gold Nanorods (780, 808, 850, 900, 1064 nm), Coatings: Silica, PEG, CTABGold Nanospheres (5, 10, 20 nm), Coatings: Silica, PEG, CitrateCustom synthesis offered depending on order volume Coming soon: Functionalized and antibody conjugated gold nanoparticles


Why choose our gold nanoparticles:

 Superior thermodynamic and colloidal stability Monodisperse High signal strength Full transparency on surface chemistry Bioconjugation potential Detailed tech specs

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Gold Nanoparticles of the World, Get in Shape!

Gold Nanoparticles of the World, Get in Shape! | Nanotechnology & Imaging |

Nanrods and nanocages may be better for tumor uptake than nanospheres and nanodisks.

NanoHybrids's insight:

A better understanding of the optimal shapes in nanomedicine can help take huge strides towards more effective cancer diagnosis and therapy.  And certain shapes are more optimal. Says a recent study conducted by researchers at Georgia Tech and Washington University Medical School including lead authors Younan Xia and Yongjian Liu.  

The study, published in May 2014 in ACS Nano, looked at radioactive gold nanoparticles with a similar size but different shapes (nanospheres, nanodisks, nanorods, and cubic nanocages) and compared their biodistribution, tumor uptake, and intratumoral distribution using a murine breast cancer model.  

The PEGylated radioactive nanostructures were introduced intravenously before measuring biodistribution and tumor uptake. 

Twenty four hours following injection, gold nanorods and nanocages exhibited significantly higher tumor uptake compared to nanospheres and nanodisks. Autoradiographic imaging also revealed that the nanorods and nanocages were distributed throughout the tumors in contrast with the nanospheres and nanodisks which were more superficial. 

The team plans to reduce the size of the nanostructures so they can escape clearance from the bloodstream for longer periods and better penetrate cancer cells. The researchers will also use targeting molecules to facilitate better tumor uptake. 

Original research paper:


Shapes available at 



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Skin-deep but "Illuminating": Gold Nanoparticles in the Skin may help Estimate Levels of Organ Accumulation

Skin-deep but "Illuminating": Gold Nanoparticles in the Skin may help Estimate Levels of Organ Accumulation | Nanotechnology & Imaging |

What happens to nanoparticles after they are injected into the body? A skin biopsy may be helpful in answering this question. 

NanoHybrids's insight:

As the applications of gold nanoparticles ( continue to expand, a significant amount of research efforts are devoted to determine their safety. What happens to nanoparticles after they are injected into the body?  A recent research paper takes a small step towards answering this question.

The researchers at the University of Toronto injected mice intravenously with two different nanoparticles: gold nanoparticles and quantum dots. The former turned blue and the latter exhibited fluorescent patterns under UV light. On skin biopsy, the researchers found that the concentration of nanoparticles in the skin correlated with the amount injected and was also proportional to the accumulation in the liver and spleen.

"Elemental analysis of small skin biopsies can be used as a generalized approach to quantify the accumulation of gold nanoparticles and quantum dots within the body without the need of fluorescent or radioactive labels," wrote the study authors.

This could mean that a simple skin biopsy may help diagnose nanoparticle exposure and accumulation, and may even be useful as a proxy for organ accumulation.

Original study:
Nanoparticle exposure in animals can be visualized in the skin and analysed via skin biopsy
Authors: Edward A. Sykes, Qin Dai, Kim M. Tsoi, David M. Hwang & Warren C. W. Chan

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Gold Nanoparticles Strung Together to Create Color-changing Flexible Pressure Sensor

Gold Nanoparticles Strung Together to Create Color-changing Flexible Pressure Sensor | Nanotechnology & Imaging |

Electronic stress sensors currently on the market are bulky and not suitable for applications where surfaces are not flat and uniform. 

NanoHybrids's insight:

Solution? Flexible sensor films  that can be painted on the contact surfaces. These films can be painted on the contact surface. There is a clear color variance between different pressure magnitudes showing the stress distribution on the surface. 

The technology comes from Dr. Yadong Yin's lab at the University of California, Riverside. According to the researchers, the technology is based on the way gold nanoparticles interact with light. Gold nanoparticles are strung together and then embedded into a polymer film. The film is deformed when subjected to pressure stretching the string and increasing the space between the gold nanoparticles. This increased separation changes their interaction with light turning them gradually from blue to red with increasing pressure.

The technology can have many cool applications, says an article on associated with the study. Read more:


Original Research paper:



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Drug delivery using nanoparticles: Three is not a crowd

Drug delivery using nanoparticles: Three is not a crowd | Nanotechnology & Imaging |

Researchers at MIT have developed a novel approach to deliver more than two drugs using nanoparticles.

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Drug delivery using nanoparticles is a widely studied area, but there is one thing that has confounded the scientific community - How to use nanoparticles to package more than two drugs in precise ratios. 

Researchers from MIT led by Dr. Jeremiah Johnson may have an answer. In a recent paper published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, the researchers demonstrated loading nanoparticles with three ovarian cancer drugs, cisplatin, doxorubicin, and camptothecin. 

The paper also showed that these "three-drugs-in-one" nanoparticles could kill ovarian cancer cells at a higher rate than nanoparticles loaded with one or two drugs.

Each individual nanoparticle is built using three components: the drug molecule, a linking unit that to connect to other blocks, and polyethylene glycol (PEG), a biodegradable compound which helps the particles escape the immune system. Linking these particles using “brush first polymerization.” creates a potent combination.

According to the researchers, each drug has a different release mechanism. Cisplatin is released when the particle enters a cell on exposure to glutathione. Camptothecin is freed when it comes in contact with esterases, and doxorubicin is designed to be released only when exposed to UV light. 
What's next for the group? Particles that can carry more than three drugs. And nanoparticles conjugated with antibodies and other moeities that can help specifically target cancer cells. 

Original paper:

Silica-coated gold nanoparticles can be used for delivery of therapeutic agents:

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MIT researchers coax bacterial cells to produce biofilms that incorporate nonliving materials, creating hybrid materials that conduct electricity and emit light.
NanoHybrids's insight:

Researchers at MIT, led by Prof. Timothy Lu have created a new hybrid material that can conduct electricity or emit light using genetically engineered living E.coli, gold nanoparticles (#goldnanoparticles) and quantum dots. 

Living cells can sense their environment, adapt accordingly and self-heal. According the the team of researchers, these new materials may be "self-adapting, robust, environmentally friendly, healable and multifunctional.” and find applications in the design of future solar cells and other functional devices. 
Like living cells, these hybrid cells can communicate with each other - According to the researchers, this property can be exploited to grow novel functional materials that use an internal "genetic code" instead of external instructions. 

The proposed applications in structural materials, sensors, adhesives, stimuli-responsive devices, self-healing materials and adaptive materials give a whole new meaning to "smart" devices. 
Where to buy gold nanoparticles for research use:

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