Utilizing exclusively licensed patent pending technologies developed by Dr. Cathy Murphy at the Univ. of South Carolina, Nanopartz, a division of Concurrent Analytical Inc., released a new line of highly monodisperse gold nanorods. These nanorods are particularly suited to diagnostics as well as biomedical imaging and photothermal therapy applications. Specifically, nanorods may be used to selectively destroy solid cancer tumors. The nanorods are conjugated to cancer antibodies where they accumulate in and around solid tumors. A near-infrared laser transmissive to skin and tissues is used outside the body to activate the nanorods which in turn results in the thermal destruction of the tumor and the blood vessels supplying them without significant damage to healthy tissue. In addition to the elimination of solid tumors, potential applications include diagnostics in surface-enhanced Raman scattering, Resonance Light Scattering, x-ray contrast enhancement, optical filters and polarizers, and in polymer materials.
Gold nanoparticles are one of the most widely used classes of nanomaterials for chemical, bioanalytical, biomedical, optical and nanotechnological applications. While there are numerous methods known for the synthesis of gold nanoparticles, the ability to control the size, shape and monodispersity for gold nanoparticles is one of the important areas in which few standard protocols have been established to allow preparation of gold nanoparticles of desired sizes, shapes and monodispersity in a systematic way. Such ability is critical for many applications. Nanopartz can manufacture nanorods with aspect ratios from 1.67 to 4.5, resulting in absorptions from 560 nm to 810 nm.
Compared to other types of nanoparticles including spheres and shells, nanorods are more favorable for in-vivo applications due to their tunable optical resonance in the NIR region. Moreover, their relative scattering to absorption contribution can be easily tuned by a change in their dimensions. Gold nanorods offer the most superior NIR absorption and scattering at much smaller particle sizes. Smaller sized nanorods also offer better cell uptake as compared to the larger nanoshells and nanospheres. This, in addition to the potential noncytotoxicity of the gold material, easy optical tunability, and facile synthesis, makes gold nanorods the most promising nanoparticle agents for use in biomedical imaging and photothermal therapy applications.
Nanopartz is the only known commercial source for gold nanorods.