Gold nanorod mediated plasmonic photothermal therapy: A tool to enhance macromolecular delivery

Adam J. Gormley, Khaled Greish, Abhijit Ray, Ryan Robinson, Joshua A. Gustafson, Hamidreza Ghandehari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Plasmonic photothermal therapy (PPTT) with gold nanostructures has been used to generate significant heat within tumors to ablate vasculature. Here we report the use of gold nanorod (GNR) mediated PPTT to induce moderate hyperthermia as a tool to enhance the delivery of macromolecules. GNRs were injected intravenously in a mouse sarcoma (S-180) tumor model. After 24 h Evans blue dye (EBD) was injected and the right tumor was radiated with a laser diode for 10 min. EBD content in the right and left tumors were extracted in formamide, measured spectrophotometrically and expressed as a thermal enhancement ratio (TER). Enhanced delivery of EBD was observed (up to 1.8-fold) when tumor temperatures reached 43 °C or 46 °C. No statistical difference was observed between tumors at these two temperatures, though significant hemorrhage was observed in tumors and surrounding areas receiving the higher thermal dose (46 °C). These results indicate that tumor directed PPTT may be used to induce moderate hyperthermia and therefore selectively increase the delivery of macromolecules with therapeutic anticancer drugs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)315-318
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmaceutics
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Aug 30 2011
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmaceutical Science


  • Enhanced permeability and retention (EPR)
  • Gold nanorods
  • Hyperthermia
  • Permeability
  • Plasmonic photothermal therapy (PPTT)


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