Skip to Main Content
Gold nanoparticles (GNPs) are nontoxic, can be functionalized with ligands, and preferentially accumulate in tumors. We have developed a 13.56-MHz RF-electromagnetic field (RFEM) delivery system capable of generating high E-fleld strengths required for noninvasive, noncontact heating of GNPs. The bulk heating and specific heating rates were measured as a function of NP size and concentration. It was found that heating is both size and concentration dependent, with 5 nm particles producing a 50.6 ± 0.2°C temperature rise in 30 s for 25 μg/mL gold (125 W input). The specific heating rate was also size and concentration dependent, with 5 nm particles producing a specific heating rate of 356 ± 78 kW/g gold at 16 μg/mL (125 W input). Furthermore, we demonstrate that cancer cells incubated with GNPs are killed when exposed to 13.56 MHz RF-EM fields. Compared to cells that were not incubated with GNPs, three out of four RF-treated groups showed a significant enhancement of cell death with GNPs (p <; 0.05). GNP-enhanced cell killing appears to require temperatures above 50°C for the experimental parameters used in this study. Transmission electron micrographs show extensive vacuolization with the combination of GNPs and RF treatment.
Date of Publication: July 2011