Application of INAA to the build-up and clearance of gold nanoshells in clinical studies in mice
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Clinical studies have been carried out for detailed measurements of the build-up and clearance of engineered gold nanoshell in the tissues of dosed mice. These optically tunable nanoshells are under consideration for a new therapy for tumors. The proposed therapy would involve the injection of the nanoshells and their preferential accumulation in tumor sites. This will be followed by irradiation with a monochromatic near infrared laser, which will induce cellular hyperthermia, thereby eradicating the tumor. Neutron activation analysis has been used for the detection and quantitation of gold, and therefore, the nanoshells, in dosing materials, blood, bones and other tissues as well as tumors at varioius sacrifice times following dosing. Feasibility studies have shown instrumental neutron activation analysis to be uniquely suited for detection of the gold nanoshells over a wide dynamic range. This allows for the study of high concentrations of gold in tissues which scavenge the shells from the blood (liver, spleen, kidney) as well as for much lower concentrations in those which do not (muscle, brain). In particular, the tissues from animals sacrificed after the longest post dose delay (28 days) and the control animals required experimental optimization to ensure the lowest possible determination limits. The mass of gold in the tissue samples ranged from our determination limit (about 70 pg) to a few micrograms.
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