Study of the Radiolytic Enhancement of Gold Nanoparticles with Amino Acids
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Gold nanoparticles have become a growing field of study in cancer diagnosis and treatment. Several articles have shown that gold nanoparticles have the capacity to enhance the absorbed dose in localized tissue; however, consistent studies of their reported enhancement are scarce. Amino acids, a major constituent of human cells and tissue, were used as a model for assessing dose enhancement. In the current study, twenty aqueous amino acids with and without PEGylated and non-functionalized 5 nm gold nanoparticles were prepared and irradiated to 10 kGy, 25 kGy, and 50 kGy using a 10 MeV electron beam and analyzed using UV-VIS spectrophotometry. A semi-quantitative response to conformational changes as a function of absorbed dose for radiosensitive amino acids following the Arrhenius equation was summarized and compared to samples containing gold nanoparticles. Inclusion of any nanoparticles provided only 0.01 - 0.04 increase in absorbance universally; thus for the low concentrations used in this experiment, radiolytic enhancement and differences in optical density caused by gold nanoparticles are grossly indeterminate. While enhancement has been previously shown to be achievable through the addition of small gold nanoparticles in in vitro and in vivo studies, other considerations such as nanoparticle size and concentrations may need to be modified to indicate such difference.
Carson, Mallory E (2015). Study of the Radiolytic Enhancement of Gold Nanoparticles with Amino Acids. Undergraduate Research Scholars Program. Available electronically from