There is an unmet need for efficient near-infrared photothermal transducers for the treatment of highly aggressive cancers and large tumors where the penetration of light can be substantially reduced, and the intra-tumoral nanoparticle transport is restricted due to the presence of hypoxic or necrotic regions. We report the performance advantages obtained by sub 100nm gold nanomatryushkas, comprising concentric gold-silica-gold layers compared to conventional ~150nm silica core gold nanoshells for photothermal therapy of triple negative breast cancer. We demonstrate that a 33% reduction in silica-core-gold-shell nanoparticle size, while retaining near-infrared plasmon resonance, and keeping the nanoparticle surface charge constant, results in a four to five fold tumor accumulation of nanoparticles following equal dose of injected gold for both sizes. The survival time of mice bearing large (>1000mm(3)) and highly aggressive triple negative breast tumors is doubled for the nanomatryushka treatment group under identical photo-thermal therapy conditions. The higher absorption cross-section of a nanomatryoshka results in a higher efficiency of photonic to thermal energy conversion and coupled with 4-5× accumulation within large tumors results in superior therapy efficacy.
Keywords: Gold nanoparticle; Multilayer nanoshells Au/SiO(2)/Au; Nanomatryoshka; Near infrared; Photothermal therapy.
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