Highly selective CD44-specific gold nanorods for photothermal ablation of tumorigenic subpopulations generated in MCF7 mammospheres

Eugene Lee, Yoochan Hong, Jihye Choi, Seungjoo Haam, Jin Suck Suh, Yong Min Huh, Jaemoon Yang

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20 Citations (Scopus)


Heterogeneous stem-like populations within tumor tissues are the primary suspects in causing cancer recurrence and malignancy. It is essential to selectively kill these tumorigenic populations. We created a novel system for photothermally ablating specific cells from three-dimensional mammospheres. A CD44-positive subpopulation, with tumorigenic and self-renewal potential, spontaneously arises in MCF7 breast cancer cell-engineered mammospheres. Using anti-CD44 antibody-linked gold nanorods, which strongly absorb near infrared light and increase local temperature, we effectively targeted and photo-ablated atypical cells. This biomarker-specific photothermal ablation model, using a smart nanoplatform, is a promising new strategy for selectively killing cancer cells, while sparing normal tissues.

Original languageEnglish
Article number465101
Issue number46
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Nov 23


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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