Nano-technology has entered the field of medicine in recent decades and many of the nanomaterials developed have already had a high impact on health care. Among nanomaterials, gold nanoparticles (GNPs) and gold quantum dots (QDs) are receiving significant attention because their unique physical, chemical and biological properties are quite different from the bulk of their counterparts. In this article, after a brief historical overview, the use of gold and nano-gold in medicine is reviewed, analyzed, and discussed. The review particularly deals with the use of GNPs and bio-conjugated GNPs in cancer treatment, drug or gene delivery, DNA detection, biomedical imaging including that of brain activity, enhancement of gene regulation, the detection of toxic metals, immuno-assays, disease detection and diagnostics, therapy and also the toxicity of gold and GNPs, etc. A number of novel applications of GNPs in medicine and perspectives of nano-gold use in medicine are also discussed.
Gold nanoparticles; gold quantum dots; nanomedicine; biomolecules; toxicity
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