Indexed on: 16 Oct '14Published on: 16 Oct '14Published in: Expert review of molecular diagnostics
Gold nanoparticles have been appointed as cutting-edge platforms for combined diagnostic and therapeutic approaches due to their exquisite physicochemical and optical properties. In particular, their potential benefits in cancer settings are enormous, as they can serve as targeted vehicles for controlled drug release, photothermal therapy and gene therapy, as well as contrast imaging agents to allow for real-time monitoring of both disease and therapeutic progression. These theranostic platforms represent powerful image-guided therapeutics, tailored to maximize individual patient benefit and with the ability to significantly minimize toxic side effects. Here the authors review some of the recent advances on the development of gold nanoparticle conjugates for combined diagnostics and therapy, while reflecting on the obstacles toward translational research.