Chinese Journal of Applied Chemistry ›› 2016, Vol. 33 ›› Issue (9): 1009-1016.DOI: 10.11944/j.issn.1000-0518.2016.09.160075

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Cytotoxicity of Gold Nanoparticles

LI Zhuhengab,MA Linab,LIU Dianjunb,WANG Zhenxinb*()   

  1. aJilin Provincial Institute of Education,Changchun 130022,China
    bState Key Laboratory of Electroanalytical Chemistry,Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry,Chinese Academy of Sciences,Changchun 130022,China
  • Received:2016-02-29 Accepted:2016-04-20 Online:2016-08-23 Published:2016-08-23
  • Contact: WANG Zhenxin
  • Supported by:
    Supported by the National Science Foundation of China(No.21475126)


Gold nanoparticles(AuNPs) are one of ideal nanomaterials for constructing diagnostic and therapeutic nanosystems. Therefore, it is important to understand interactions of AuNPs and cells. In this review, we present a detailed analysis of data on the cytotoxicity of most popular AuNPs including gold nanoclusters(AuNCs), spherical AuNPs(AuNPss), gold nanoshells(AuNSs) and gold nanorods(AuNRs). We discuss the effects of the cell models, physicochemical properties(size, shape, chemical functionality, and surface charge) of AuNPs on the cytotoxicity of AuNPs. Some general conclusions, current challenges and future prospects/solutions on the issue have been provided.

Key words: gold nanoparticles, mammalian cells, cytotoxicity, biological effect