Design and potential application of PEGylated gold nanoparticles with size-dependent permeation through brain microvasculature

Arnold B Etame, Christian A Smith, Warren CW Chan, James T Rutka

Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology and Medicine, Volume 7, Issue 6, December 2011, Pages 992-1000 | DOI: 10.1016/j.nano.2011.04.004


Gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) have gained prominence in several targeting applications involving systemic cancers. Their enhanced permeation and retention within permissive tumor microvasculature provides a selective advantage for targeting. Malignant brain tumors also exhibit transport-permissive microvasculature secondary to blood-brain barrier disruption. Hence AuNPs may have potential relevance for brain tumor targeting. However, there are currently no studies that systematically examine brain microvasculature permeation of polyethylene glycol (PEG)-functionalized AuNPs. Such studies could pave the way for rationale AuNP design for passive targeting of malignant tumors. In this report we designed and characterized AuNPs with varying core particle sizes (4–24 nm) and PEG chain lengths [molecular weight 1000–10,000]. Using an in-vitro model designed to mimic the transport-permissive brain …