Optimization of anti-cancer drugs and a targeting molecule on multifunctional gold nanoparticles

Nahla Rizk, Nicolas Christoforou, Sungmun Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Breast cancer is the most common and deadly cancer among women worldwide. Currently, nanotechnology-based drug delivery systems are useful for cancer treatment; however, strategic planning is critical in order to enhance the anti-cancer properties and reduce the side effects of cancer therapy. Here, we designed multifunctional gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) conjugated with two anti-cancer drugs, TGF-β1 antibody and methotrexate, and a cancer-targeting molecule, folic acid. First, optimum size and shape of AuNPs was selected by the highest uptake of AuNPs by MDA-MB-231, a metastatic human breast cancer cell line. It was 100 nm spherical AuNPs (S-AuNPs) that were used for further studies. A fixed amount (900 μl) of S-AuNP (3.8 ×108 particles/ml) was conjugated with folic acid-BSA or methotrexate-BSA. Methotrexate on S-AuNP induced cellular toxicity and the optimum amount of methotrexate-BSA (2.83 mM) was 500 μl. Uptake of S-AuNPs was enhanced by folate conjugation that binds to folate receptors overexpressed by MDA-MB-231 and the optimum uptake was at 500 μl of folic acid-BSA (2.83 mM). TGF-β1 antibody on S-AuNP reduced extracellular TGF-β1 of cancer cells by 30%. Due to their efficacy and tunable properties, we anticipate numerous clinical applications of multifunctional gold nanospheres in treating breast cancer.

Original languageBritish English
Article number185704
Issue number18
StatePublished - 23 Mar 2016


  • breast cancer
  • folic acids
  • gold nanoparticles
  • methotrexate
  • TGF-β


Dive into the research topics of 'Optimization of anti-cancer drugs and a targeting molecule on multifunctional gold nanoparticles'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this