Acta Phys. -Chim. Sin. ›› 2017, Vol. 33 ›› Issue (7): 1324-1337.doi: 10.3866/PKU.WHXB201704112

• REVIEW • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Gold Nanorods——from Controlled Synthesis and Modification to Nano-Biological and Biomedical Applications

Xue-Jiao HU,Guan-Bin GAO*(),Ming-Xi ZHANG*()   

  • Received:2017-01-03 Published:2017-05-31
  • Contact: Guan-Bin GAO,Ming-Xi ZHANG;
  • Supported by:
    The project was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China(51533007);The project was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China(51521001);The project was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China(21404083)


Gold nanorods (AuNRs) have been the focus of considerable attention in the nano-biotechnology and biomedicine fields because of their unique optical activities, adjustable aspect ratios, ease of surface modification, and good biocompatibility. AuNRs offer specific tunable surface plasmon resonance (SPR) effects (including TSPR and LSPR), which can tune their fluorescence-emission between the visible and near-infrared (NIR) zones. Controlled synthesis and surface modification determine the physical and chemical properties of AuNRs, which ultimately determine their biocompatibility and biomedical applicability. In this review, the four main types of controlled synthesis (template, electrochemical synthesis, photochemical synthesis, and seeded growth methods), controlled surface modification methods, as well as the nano-biological and biomedical applications of AuNRs, are summarized. The controlled surface modification methods of AuNRs and their application to molecular probes, bio-sensing, bio-imaging, gene carriers, pharmaceutical carriers, and cancer photothermal therapy are discussed in detail. Finally, we outline our personal perspectives on the main issue affecting AuNRs in biological applications. That is, chiral molecular and smart polymers can be introduced onto the surfaces of AuNRs to improve the specific recognition of tumor cells and to increase fluorescence quantum yields, thus providing a new direction for the development of AuNRs.

Key words: Gold nanorods, Controlled synthesis, Controlled modification, Nano-biological applications, Biomedical applications