Multifunctional gold nanorods for siRNA gene silencing and photothermal therapy

Jianliang Shen, Han Cheon Kim, Chaofeng Mu, Emanuela Gentile, Junhua Mai, Joy Wolfram, Liang Nian Ji, Mauro Ferrari, Zong wan Mao, Haifa Shen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

89 Scopus citations


Cancer is a complex disease that usually requires several treatment modalities. A multifunctional nanotherapeutic system is designed, incorporating small interfering RNA (siRNA) and gold nanorods (Au NRs) for photothermal therapy. Surface-engineered Au NRs with polyethylenimine are synthesized using a layer-by-layer assembly and siRNA is absorbed on the surface. The siRNA is efficiently delivered into breast cancer cells, resulting in subsequent gene silencing. Cells are then irradiated with near-infrared (NIR) light, causing heat-induced anticancer activity. The combination of gene silencing and photothermal therapy results in effective inhibition of cell proliferation. Multifunctional polyethylenimine (PEI)-gold nanorods (Au NRs) are designed for delivery of small interfering RNA (siRNA) and thermal therapy. This platform shows anticancer activity, through simultaneous thermal ablation and suppression of oncogene expression. miRNA, messenger RNA; NIR, near infrared.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1629-1637
Number of pages9
JournalAdvanced Healthcare Materials
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2014


  • Gold nanorods
  • Layer-by-layer assembly
  • Photothermal therapy
  • SiRNA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Pharmaceutical Science


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