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Stable and Biocompatible Mushroom β-Glucan Modified Gold Nanorods for Cancer Photothermal Therapy

Li, Xiaojie, Zhou, Jiajing, Liu, Chaoran, Xiong, Qirong, Duan, Hongwei, Cheung, Peter C. K.
Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 2017 v.65 no.43 pp. 9529-9536
Pleurotus tuber-regium, antineoplastic activity, beta-glucans, cytotoxicity, functional foods, gastric juice, gold, immunomodulators, in vitro studies, mushrooms, nanohybrids, nanorods, neoplasms, polymers, sclerotia, therapeutics, viability
Naturally occurring β-glucans have been widely regarded as a natural source for functional foods and pharmaceuticals due to their immunomodulatory property and antitumor activity. However, physicochemically stable and biocompatible β-glucans are rarely explored as a carrier for nanomaterials to overcome the problems of aggregation and nanotoxicity. Here, we developed highly stable and biocompatible mushroom β-glucan coated gold nanorods (AuNR-Glu) for cancer photothermal therapy by integrating Pleurotus tuber-regium sclerotial β-glucan (Glu) and plasmonic gold nanorods (AuNRs) possessing photothermal property in the second near-infrared (NIR-II) window. AuNR-Glu showed high colloidal stability in various biological media, even in simulated gastric fluid. Moreover, AuNR-Glu had low cytotoxicity and high photothermal stability, which are excellent characteristics for photothermal agents for cancer therapy. In vitro experiments showed that AuNR-Glu nanohybrid was effective against MCF-7 (only 4.5 ± 0.9% viability) at a low dose of 20 μg/mL under NIR-II at a safe laser power density (0.75 W/cm²). Natural mushroom β-glucans are potential functional polymers that can be used to fabricate nanohybrids for biomedical applications.