Interactions of Renal-Clearable Gold Nanoparticles with Tumor Microenvironments: Vasculature and Acidity Effects

Mengxiao Yu, Chen Zhou, Li Liu, Shanrong Zhang, Shasha Sun, Julia D. Hankins, Xiankai Sun, Jie Zheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Scopus citations


The success of nanomedicines in the clinic depends on our comprehensive understanding of nano–bio interactions in tumor microenvironments, which are characterized by dense leaky microvasculature and acidic extracellular pH (pHe) values. Herein, we investigated the accumulation of ultrasmall renal-clearable gold NPs (AuNPs) with and without acidity targeting in xenograft mouse models of two prostate cancer types, PC-3 and LNCaP, with distinct microenvironments. Our results show that both sets of AuNPs could easily penetrate into the tumors but their uptake and retention were mainly dictated by the tumor microvasculature and the enhanced permeability and retention effect over the entire targeting process. On the other hand, increased tumor acidity indeed enhanced the uptake of AuNPs with acidity targeting, but only for a limited period of time. By making use of simple surface chemistry, these two effects can be synchronized in time for high tumor targeting, opening new possibilities to further improve the targeting efficiencies of nanomedicines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4314-4319
Number of pages6
JournalAngewandte Chemie - International Edition
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - Apr 3 2017



  • microvascular density
  • nanoparticles
  • renal clearance
  • tumor acidity
  • tumor targeting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)

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