Sub-100 nm gold nanomatryoshkas improve photo-thermal therapy efficacy in large and highly aggressive triple negative breast tumors
There is an unmet need for efficient near-infrared photothermal transducers for the treatment of highly aggressive cancers and large tumors where the penetration of light can be substantially reduced, and the intra-tumoral nanoparticle transport is restricted due to the presence of hypoxic or necrotic regions. We report the performance advantages obtained by sub 100 nm gold nanomatryushkas, comprising concentric gold–silica–gold layers compared to conventional ~ 150 nm silica core gold nanoshells for photothermal therapy of triple negative breast cancer. We demonstrate that a 33% reduction in silica–core–gold-shell nanoparticle size, while retaining near-infrared plasmon resonance, and keeping the nanoparticle surface charge constant, results in a four to five fold tumor accumulation of nanoparticles following equal dose of injected gold for both sizes. The survival time of mice bearing large (> 1000 mm3) and highly aggressive triple negative breast tumors is doubled for the nanomatryushka treatment group under identical photo-thermal therapy conditions. The higher absorption cross-section of a nanomatryoshka results in a higher efficiency of photonic to thermal energy conversion and coupled with 4–5 × accumulation within large tumors results in superior therapy efficacy.
Nanomatryoshka; Multilayer nanoshells Au/SiO2/Au; photothermal therapy; near infrared; gold nanoparticle