Journal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology

, Volume 142, Issue 11, pp 2217–2229 | Cite as

Folate-conjugated gold nanoparticle as a new nanoplatform for targeted cancer therapy

  • Hadi Samadian
  • Samira Hosseini-Nami
  • Seyed Kamran Kamrava
  • Habib GhaznaviEmail author
  • Ali Shakeri-ZadehEmail author
Review – Cancer Research


Conventional cancer treatment methods suffer from many limitations such as non-specificity and low efficacy in discrimination between healthy and cancer cells. Recent developments in nanotechnology have introduced novel and smart therapeutic nanomaterials that basically take advantage of various targeting approaches. Targeted nanomaterials selectively bind to the cancer cells and affect them with minor effects on healthy cells. Folic acid (folate) is an essential molecule in DNA synthesis pathway which is highly needed for cancer cell duplication. Some certain cancer cells overexpress folate receptors higher than normal cells, and this fact is the basis of folate targeting strategy. There are many publications reporting various folate conjugated nanomaterials among which folate-conjugated gold nanoparticles hold great promises in targeted cancer therapy. Gold nanoparticles have been identified as promising candidates for new cancer therapy modalities because of biocompatibility, easy synthesis and functionalization, chemo-physical stability, and optical tunable characteristics. In the last decade, there has been a significant explosion in gold nanoparticles research, with a rapid increase in publications related to the area of biomedicine. Although there are many reports published on “gold nanoparticles” and “folate targeting,” there are a few reports on “folate-conjugated gold nanoparticles” in biomedical literature. This paper intends to review and illustrate the recent advances in biomedicine which have been designed on the basis of folate-conjugated gold nanoparticles.


Cancer Nanotechnology Targeting Folic acid Gold nanoparticles 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and animal rights

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hadi Samadian
    • 1
  • Samira Hosseini-Nami
    • 2
  • Seyed Kamran Kamrava
    • 2
  • Habib Ghaznavi
    • 3
    Email author
  • Ali Shakeri-Zadeh
    • 4
    • 5
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Medical Nanotechnology, School of Advanced Technologies in MedicineTehran University of Medical Sciences (TUMS)TehranIran
  2. 2.Clinical Nanomedicine Laboratory, ENT and Head and Neck Surgery Research Center, Rasoul Akram HospitalIran University of Medical Sciences (IUMS)TehranIran
  3. 3.Zahedan University of Medical Sciences (ZaUMS)ZahedanIran
  4. 4.Medical Physics Department, School of MedicineIran University of Medical Sciences (IUMS)TehranIran
  5. 5.Diagnostic Nanoparticles Research CoreIran University of Medical Sciences (IUMS)TehranIran

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