Smart gold nanostructures for light mediated cancer theranostics: combining optical diagnostics with photothermal therapy

Tanveer A. Tabish, Priyanka Dey, Sara Mosca, Marzieh Salimi, Francesca Palombo, Pavel Matousek, Nicholas Stone*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Downloads (Pure)


Nanotheranostics, which combines optical multiplexed disease detection with therapeutic monitoring in a single modality, has the potential to propel the field of nanomedicine toward genuine personalized medicine. Currently employed mainstream modalities using gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) in diagnosis and treatment are limited by a lack of specificity and potential issues associated with systemic toxicity. Light-mediated nanotheranostics offers a relatively non-invasive alternative for cancer diagnosis and treatment by using AuNPs of specific shapes and sizes that absorb near infrared (NIR) light, inducing plasmon resonance for enhanced tumor detection and generating localized heat for tumor ablation. Over the last decade, significant progress has been made in the field of nanotheranostics, however the main biological and translational barriers to nanotheranostics leading to a new paradigm in anti-cancer nanomedicine stem from the molecular complexities of cancer and an incomplete mechanistic understanding of utilization of Au-NPs in living systems. This work provides a comprehensive overview on the biological, physical and translational barriers facing the development of nanotheranostics. It will also summarise the recent advances in engineering specific AuNPs, their unique characteristics and, importantly, tunability to achieve the desired optical/photothermal properties.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1903441
Number of pages28
JournalAdvanced Science
Issue number15
Early online date18 Jun 2020
Publication statusPublished - 5 Aug 2020


  • diagnostics
  • gold nanostructures
  • light
  • photothermal therapy
  • theranostics
  • UKRI
  • EP/R020965/1


Dive into the research topics of 'Smart gold nanostructures for light mediated cancer theranostics: combining optical diagnostics with photothermal therapy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this