Improved in vitro efficacy of gold nanoconstructs by increased loading of G-quadruplex aptamer

Duncan Hieu M. Dam, Raymond C. Lee, Teri W. Odom*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Scopus citations


This paper describes how in vitro efficacy of aptamer-loaded gold nanostars (Apt-AuNS) can be enhanced by the increased loading of a G-quadruplex homodimer AS1411 (Apt) on the AuNS surface. In a low pH buffer environment, the loading density of Apt on AuNS was increased up to 2.5 times that obtained using the conventional salt-aging process. These highly loaded AuNS nanoconstructs (*Apt-AuNS) were taken up in pancreatic cancer and fibrosarcoma cells ca. 2 times more and at faster rates compared to Apt-AuNS. When a similar number of AuNS carriers was internalized by the cancer cells, the amount of AS1411 delivered via*Apt-AuNS was effectively double that of Apt-AuNS, and*Apt-AuNS resulted in an average of 42% increase in cell death. These results suggest that increasing the loading density on AuNS could provide a simple means to improve uptake as well as in vitro efficacy of the nanoconstructs in cancer cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2843-2848
Number of pages6
JournalNano letters
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 14 2014


  • Gold nanostars
  • aptamers
  • nanoconstructs
  • nucleolin
  • oligonucleotide loading
  • polyvalency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Bioengineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)


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