Gold nanoparticles: A promising therapeutic approach
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Nanotechnology is rapidly advancing and will leave no field untouched by its ground breaking innovations. Nanoparticles are molecules with a diameter ranging from 10-100 nm. Nanotechnology has promising biomedical applications and most noteworthy amongst them are noble metal particles. For instance, gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) provide a unique blend ofphysical and optical properties, chemical inertness, and high surface to volume ratio. They can be synthesized as well as functionalised to support various ligands on their surface. Their surface functionalization and diverse properties render the gold nanoparticles highly useful for drug delivery and gene carrierfor therapeutic purposes and as molecular probes for disease diagnosis. The foundation for the usage of AuNPs in therapeutics and diagnosis was laid by the ancient studies done with ruby goldfor curing diseases in middle ages. Presently, AuNPs have become available in different types such as spheres, rods, shells, cages and SERS particles which vary in shape, size and physical properties. The biomedical applications of these particles include drug and gene delivery, cancer diagnosis and therapy, determination of biological molecules and microorganisms, detection of disease etiology, immunoassay, enzyme immobilization, etc. Overall, the focus of this review is to highlight that AuNPs provide an excellent platform for the discovery of new therapies, cure for certain cancers, molecular probe for diagnostic purposes, as well as gene carriers and drug delivery vehicles. © Bul garian Society for Cell Biology.