Development of gold-nanorod-fluorescent-antibody conjugate for imaging applications


Gold nanoparticles have been suggested for the use as imaging contrast agents in different modalities (photo-acoustic, optical coherence tomography (OCT), and x-ray computed tomography (CT)). However, these particles are invisible to the surgeon during the operation.

We are interested to develop antibody-coated gold nanorods, that also include fluorescent dyes, which could be also detected by the fluorescence cameras that are currently becoming more common in the operating room.

While proximity to a metal nanoparticle usually quenches the fluorescence from dye molecules, when using gold nanorods and NIR dyes, large fluorescence enhancement were demonstrated (see for example, Nano Lett. 9: 3896-3903 (2009)).


In this project, you will synthesize gold nanorods, and explore different routes to the conjugation of either dye-labeled antibodies, or both dyes and antibodies which are not linked to the nanorods. Our goal is the creation of stable particles (unaggregated) with a high loading of antibodies, and a large fluorescence signal. Therefore we will use UV-VIS absorption spectroscopy, fluorescence spectroscopy and the scanning electron microscope (SEM) for the characterization of our constructs. Depending on your background, testing of the particles on cells in cultures will also be done.

Schematic representation of the advantage of nanorod-labeled with antibodies and dye vs. using dye-labeled antibodies alone. The blue line with triangles represent the antigents on a cell surface.



If you are interested in this assignment, please contact:

Dr. Ron Gill

Phone: 053 489 3161