Photothermal genetic engineering

ACS Nano. 2012 Sep 25;6(9):7548-52. doi: 10.1021/nn3039287. Epub 2012 Sep 6.


Optical methods for manipulation of cellular function have enabled deconstruction of genetic and neural circuits in vitro and in vivo. Plasmonic gold nanomaterials provide an alternative platform for external optical manipulation of genetic circuits. The tunable absorption of gold nanoparticles in the infrared spectral region and straightforward surface functionalization has led to applications in intracellular delivery and photorelease of short RNAs, recently enabling bidirectional photothermal modulation of specific genes via RNA interference (RNAi). We discuss recent advances in optical gene circuit engineering and plasmonic nanomaterials, as well as future research opportunities and challenges in photothermal gene manipulation.

MeSH terms

  • Genetic Engineering / trends*
  • Hyperthermia, Induced / methods*
  • Metal Nanoparticles / radiation effects*
  • Micromanipulation / methods*
  • Scattering, Radiation