We demonstrate a novel inorganic-organic crystalline nanoconstruct, where gold atoms were imbedded in the crystal lattices as defects of camptothecin nanocrystals, suggesting its potential use as simultaneous agents for cancer therapy and bioimaging. The incorporation of gold, a potential computed tomography (CT) contrast agent, in the nanocrystals of camptothecin was detected by transmission electron microscope (TEM) and further quantified by energy dispersive X-ray spectrometry (EDS) and inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectrometers (ICP-OES). Due to gold's high attenuation coefficient, only a relatively small amount needs to be present in order to create a good noise-to-contrast ratio in CT imaging. The imbedded gold atoms and clusters are expected to share the same biological fate as the camptothecin nanocrystals, reaching and accumulating in tumor site due to the enhanced permeation and retention (EPR) effect.

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Published in Acta Pharmaceutica Sinica B, v. 9, issue 1, p. 128-134.

© 2018 Chinese Pharmaceutical Association and Institute of Materia Medica, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences. Production and hosting by Elsevier B.V.

This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

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This work was supported by Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program (DOD BCRP #BC050287). NSF IGERT) Bioactive Interface and Devices.