Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 55, Issue 6, pp 2530–2543 | Cite as

Gold nanodahlias: potential nanophotosensitizer in photothermal anticancer therapy

  • J. DepciuchEmail author
  • M. Stec
  • A. Maximenko
  • J. Baran
  • M. Parlinska-Wojtan
Materials for life sciences


Photothermal therapy is a minimally invasive anticancer therapy, where the energy of light irradiation is converted by photothermal agents to heat energy, thus increasing the temperature in the cancer cells. The efficiency of this therapy depends on the used photosensitizer, which must have several design criteria, such as plasmon resonance tenability and conversion efficiency. Based on these criteria, gold nanodahlias (AuD NPs) were synthesized and their anticancer properties were determined under irradiation with lasers operating at three different electromagnetic wavelengths (405 nm, 650 nm and 808 nm) of two colon cancer cell lines SW480 and SW620. Scanning and transmission electron microscopies revealed that the size of the synthesized AuD NPs is around 70 nm, while their UV–Vis spectrum showed a maximum absorbance value at 625 nm wavelength. The MTS assay showed that for 625 nm laser irradiation in the presence of NPs, the mortality of the two lines of cancer cells is around 70%, in comparison with control samples (untreated cancer cells). Fourier-transform infrared and Raman spectroscopy showed that the most visible chemical changes, especially in DNA, RNA, phospholipids, lipids and proteins functional groups, occur in the colon cancer cells cultured with AuD NPs irradiated with 650 nm and 808 nm lasers. A photothermal conversion efficiency reaching 50% is observed for AuD NPs irradiated with 650 nm and 808 nm wavelengths. All of these properties of AuD NPs suggest that these nanoparticles could be effective potential nanophotosensitizers in photothermal anticancer therapy.



The authors thank the Institute of Engineering Materials and Biomaterials of the Silesian University of Technology for the use of the Titan FEI TEM instrument. Dr. Ewa Juszyńska-Gałązka from the Department of Soft Matter Research, Institute of Nuclear Physics Polish Academy of Sciences, is acknowledged for her help in FTIR measurements. Dr Monika Kula is acknowledged for the use of the Raman instrument located at Polish Academy of Sciences, The Franciszek Górski Institute of Plant, and Mr Bartosz Klebowski is acknowledged for his help in biological samples transport. Partial financial support by Pik-Instruments is greatly acknowledged.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

10853_2019_4187_MOESM1_ESM.docx (52 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 52 kb)


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Nuclear Physics Polish Academy of SciencesKrakówPoland
  2. 2.Department of Clinical Immunology, Institute of PediatricsJagiellonian University Medical CollegeKrakówPoland

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