Greener Journal of Biological Sciences

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Greener Journal of  Biological Sciences Vol. 4 (5), pp. 146-153, June 2014.

 © 2011 Greener Journals

Research Paper

Manuscript Number: 0511014228



PEGylated Gold Nanoparticles as a Biocompatible Contrast Agent in X-ray Imaging of Breast Tumor in Mouse Model


Mojtaba Salouti*1, Zahra Heidari1, Faranak Saghatchi2


1Biology Research Center, Zanjan Branch, Islamic Azad University, Zanjan, Iran.

2Department of Radiology, Faculty of Paramedical and Health Sciences, Zanjan University of Medical Sciences, Zanjan, Iran.

*Corresponding Author’s Email: saloutim @yahoo .com, Fax: (+98) 241 4224024


Objective: Though biopsy is ultimately the gold standard for breast cancer detection, medical imaging can be a valuable tool for gathering information in vivo for both screening and diagnosis. In this study, we propose the use of gold nanoparticles (GNPs) modified with polyethylene glycol (PEG) as a biocompatible contrast agent in X- ray imaging of breast cancer in mouse model.

Methods: Gold nanoparticles in spherical shape were coated with PEG and the interaction was investigated by UV/vis spectroscopy. The UV/vis analysis was performed to check the stability of PEG-GNPs complex in human blood serum. The biodistribution and X–ray imaging studies were performed to evaluate the localization of PEGylated GNPs in xenografted breast tumor in mouse model.


Results: The interaction of PEG with GNPs was confirmed by UV–vis spectroscopy. The stability of PEG-GNPs was found high at human blood serum with no aggregation. The biodistribution study showed the accumulation of PEGylated GNPs in the site of tumor. The tumor was properly visualized in X-ray images in mouse model.


Conclusions: The results showed the potential of PEGylated gold nanoparticles as a contrast agent for X-ray imaging of breast cancer in humans that needs further investigations.

Keywords: Breast Cancer; X-ray Imaging; Contrast Agent; Gold Nanoparticles; PEGylation.


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