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Cancer is a class of disease in which a cell or a group of cell displays uncontrolled growth, invasion and sometimes metastasis. According to the WHO cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide: it accounted for 7.9 million deaths in 2007. Recent years have seen advancement in field of nanotechnology for diagnosis, treatment and prevention of cancer. One such application of nanotechnology employs use of Gold Nanoparticles. As per the recent research, the gold nanoparticles employ its use in tumor targeting technology which uses golds inherent biocompatibility to develop drugs which can be delivered directly into cancerous cells. They strongly absorb and scatter visible and infrared light. This provides the potential for designing novel, optically active reagent for simultaneous molecular imaging and photothermal cancer therapy. The additional advantage provided by this technique is that it is cost effective, simple and sensitive diagnostic test for cancer.

Gold nanoparticles are basically colloidal gold which is suspension of sub-micrometer-sized particles of gold in fluid. Due to the unique optical, electronic and molecular recoganition properties of gold nanoparticles, they are subject of substantial research, with application in a wide variety of areas including electron microscopy, electronics, nanotechnology, and material sciences. Properties and applications of colloidal gold nanoparticles depends upon shape. Gold nanoparticles are generally produced in a liquid (liquid chemical methods) by reduction of chloroauric acid. Other methods for production are: 1. Turkevich Method 2. Brust Method 3. Perrault Method 4. Martin Method 5. Sonolysis


Researchers claim that the antibody covered with gold nanoparticle have 600% better chance of accumulating than healthy cells. They produce images using surface plasmon resonance imaging technique. This method allows clear distinction between the cancerous and non cancerous cells thus, improvement cancer detection techniques. Reports of this discovery suggest that all types of cancer can be detected.


One of the most promising applications in the emerging field of nanotechnology is cancer treatment. The ability to target individual cells provides safer and more effective treatment than current approaches like chemotherapy in which healthy cells become collateral damage in the effort to knock out cancerous tumors. This potential has again been demonstrated by scientists at Rice University who have developed a way to blow up individual diseased cells using lasers and gold nanoparticles. As per the research the single-cell targeting is one of the most touted advantages of nanomedicine, and the approach delivers on that promise with a localized effect inside an individual cell. The idea is to spot and treat unhealthy cells early, before a disease progresses to the point of making people extremely ill. This technique involves producing nanobubbles by zapping gold nanoparticles inside cells with lasers.

Nanotechnology is one of the major tool in the battle against cancer. Nanotechnology has helped in various ways, it has enabled researchers to prepare this treatment using self-assembly and by working at the molecular level it has combined bioscience with the unique optical properties of the nanoscale into a more efficient product. The use of gold nanoparticles is one of the major breakthrough in this field. The researchers insist that this technique will be one of the major technique in diagnosis and treatment of cancer within the next ten year.

Nanoparticles as applying agent for biopolymers, INRA. Suresh Munuswamy; Destroying cancer cells with exploding gold nanoparticles; Using gold nanoparticles to detect and treat cancer; Nanoparticles shine light or cancer diagnosis; nanopedia, the web course of nanotechnology Verlag &co., weinheim; Cancer treatment with gold nanoparticles; Small/Wiley Yasuhiro Uozumi, Yoichi M. A. Yamada, Maki Minakawa; Gold Supported on Hydroxyapatite as a Tandem Catalyst; Theime eJournals