With recent developments in nanotechnology, plasmonic photothermal therapy (PPTT) has become a powerful tool for elimination of pathogenic tissues, e.g. tumor growths. To achieve such PPTT applications, however, the nanocomposite structures need to be strictly controlled. Ideally, nanocomposites should have the following traits: (1) efficient absorption and conversion of photon energy into heat, (2) a targeting component, and (3) a capacity to be visualized easily in vivo.
This application note demonstrates the use of in vivo and ex vivo fluorescent imaging for monitoring the biodistribution and persistence of gold/graphene oxide nanorods in a PPTT mouse model is feasible. Deep tissue, in vivo visualization of nanocomposites was achieved by conjugation with commercially available cyanine dye Cy7. This nanocomposite construct will allow investigators in future studies to evaluate both the efficacy and completeness of PPTT in various mouse model systems. The study demonstrates that new functionalized nanomaterials also enable efficient monitoring and destruction of solid tumors. Thus they might serve as an excellent multi-functional theranostic agent in photothermal therapeutic applications, providing both efficient targeting, visualization and destruction of tumor tissue.