Astaxanthin, a kind of photosynthetic pigment, was employed for gold nanoparticle formation. Nanoparticles were characterized using Ulteraviolet-Visible (UV-Vis) spectroscopy, transmission electron microscopy, and X-ray diffraction, and the possible presence of astaxanthin functional groups were analyzed by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). The cytotoxic effect of synthesized nanoparticles was evaluated against MDA-MB-231 (human breast cancer cells) using a tetrazolium-based assay, and synthesized nanoparticles exhibited dose-dependent toxicity. The morphology upon cell death was differentiated through fluorescent microscopy using different stains that predicted apoptosis. The synthesized nanoparticles were applied in ultrasound-coupled photoacoustic imaging to obtain good images of treated cells. Astaxanthin-reduced gold nanoparticle has the potential to act as a promising agent in the field of photo-based diagnosis and therapy.
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© 2016 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
- Breast cancer
- Gold nanoparticle
- Photoacoustic imaging