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Radioactive gold nanoparticles for cancer treatment

Size and cluster dependent damage studied by Geant4 Monte-Carlo simulations

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Abstract

Dose enhancement by gold nanoparticles (AuNP) was shown to increase the biological effectiveness of radiation damage in biomolecules and tissue. Most of the current studies focus on external beam therapy on combination with AuNP. Here we present a Monte-Carlo study (Geant4) to characterise radioactive AuNP. Radioactive 198Au emits beta and gamma rays and is considered for applications with solid tumours. To effectively apply 198AuNP their energy deposit characteristics have to be determined in terms of intrinsic and extrinsic properties e.g. AuNP diameter, AuNP density, and their clustering behaviour. After each decay process, the energy deposit, inelastic scattering events, kinetic energy spectrum of secondary particles within the AuNP themselves and in a spherical target volume of water up to 1 μm radius were determined. Simulations were performed for AuNP radii ranging from 2.5 nm to 20 nm radius, different cluster sizes and densities. The results show an increase of the energy deposit in the vicinity of the AuNP up to 150 nm. This effect nearly vanishes for distances up to one micron. For the case of AuNP clusters and the same activity, the enhancement of the energy deposit increases with the relative gold mass percentage and therefore can be adjusted by changing AuNP radius or clustering behaviour.

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Author information

Correspondence to Marc Benjamin Hahn.

Additional information

Contribution to the Topical Issue “Dynamics of Systems on the Nanoscale (2018)”, edited by Ilko Bald, Ilia A. Solov’yov, Nigel J. Mason and Andrey V. Solov’yov.

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Zutta Villate, J.M., Hahn, M.B. Radioactive gold nanoparticles for cancer treatment. Eur. Phys. J. D 73, 95 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1140/epjd/e2019-90707-x

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