Synergistic Effect of Gold Nanoparticles and Cold Plasma on Glioblastoma Cancer Therapy

Jul 18, 2014

Xiaoqian Cheng, William Murphy, Nina Recek, Dayun Yan, Uros Cvelbar, Alenka Vesel, Miran Mozetič, Jerome Canady, MD, Michael Keidar, PhD, Jonathan H Sherman
Gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) have been investigated as a promising reagent for cancer therapy in various fields. In the meantime, cold atmospheric plasma has shown exquisite selectivity towards cancer cells. In this paper, we demonstrate that there is a synergy between gold nanoparticles and cold atmospheric plasma in cancer therapy. Specifically, the concentration of AuNPs plays an important role on plasma therapy. At an optimal concentration, gold nanoparticles can significantly induce glioblastoma (U87) cell death up to a 30% overall increase compared to the control group with the same plasma dosage but no AuNPs applied. The reactive oxygen species (ROS) intensity of the corresponding conditions has a reversed trend compared to cell viability. This matches with the theory that intracellular ROS accumulation results in oxidative stress, which further changes the intracellular pathways, causing damage to the proteins, lipids and DNA. Our results show that this synergy has great potential in improving the efficiency of cancer therapy and reducing harm to normal cells.