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Decorating Gold Nanostars With Multiwalled Carbon Nanotubes For Photothermal Therapy

Yuting Zhu, Quanmei Sun, Yingzhu Liu, Tao Ma, Lei Su, Sidi Liu, Xiaoli Shi, Dong Han, Feng Liang

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Gold nanoparticles and carbon nanotubes have attracted substantial attention in recent years for their potential applications in photothermal therapy (PTT) as an emerging breakthrough in cancer treatment. Herein, a hybrid nanomaterial of gold nanostars/multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) was synthesized by two-step reduction via the control of several synthetic conditions such as the reducing agent, pH value, concentration and ratio of reagents. The material shows good biocompatibility and high photothermal conversion efficiency, demonstrating its applicability in PTT. The lack of surfactant in the synthesis process made the hybrid nanomaterial cell-friendly, with no effects on viability in vitro . The MWCNT/gold nanostars hybrid nanomaterial presented 12.4% higher photothermal efficiency than gold nanostars alone and showed a 2.4-fold increase over gold nanospheres based on a heating test under 808 nm laser irradiation. Moreover, the MWCNTs/gold nanostars at low concentration (0.32 nM) exhibited remarkably improved photothermal cancer cell-killing efficacy, which may be attributed to the surface plasmon resonance absorption of the gold nanostars and the combined effects of enhanced coupling between the MWCNTs and gold nanostars. Collectively, these results demonstrate that the MWCNTs/gold nanostars developed herein show prominent photothermal value, and thus may serve as a novel photothermal agent for cancer therapy.