In the ever-advancing field of nanotechnology and materials science there has been a buzz in the air in recent years over Gold Nanorods (GNRs). Their unique structure and ease of synthesis provides a range of optical properties that can be readily manipulated. These properties can be utilised in various applications such as surface functionalisation, photothermal therapy to manage tumours and cancer cells. In this review, we will look at the current research that analyses the toxicity of GNRs and what effects the surface chemistry and synthesis have on this. We will also discuss what effect the size and shape of GNRs have on biological systems, reinforcing why they are making such a statement in the world of science.
Gold…show more content… Gold nanorod (GNR) synthesis requires the surfactant cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) , this process produces a high yield of GNRs with surface plasmon resonances in the infra-red as well as visible light range. CTAB is the agent that drives anisotropic growth as well as provides the stabilization needed to form the bilayers on the GNRs . Quite a significant amount of CTAB is used in this synthesis and after the synthesis there is still an amount of CTAB remaining on the surface of the GNRs . The excess CTAB on the surface has both a lack of stability in biological systems and presents a significant amount of cytotoxicity [3, 10, 11]. In the literature it has presented that GNR solutions that are CTAB-capped at a certain concentration present a substantial amount of cytotoxicity at around 70% loss of cell viability . In this paper published by Wiley, with over 600 citations was an extraordinary paper. It was well constructed and no faults could be found with it. With that amount of citations, it has clearly influenced the further investigation of the cytotoxicity of GNRs. Now we have identified that CTAB is the problem, how have researchers attempted to solve it? You’re probably thinking, remove the CTAB, which is a very reasonable suggestion. Removing the CTAB from the surface of the GNRs and replacing them with other viable biomolecules is not a simple process. By removing the CTAB from the surface of the GNRs the first issue