Ionic gold (Au) compounds have been used for many years in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (aurotherapy). Despite their long history, the basis for their therapeutic properties has never been established definitively. We have observed that cartilage tissue and chondroitin sulfate (CS) can generate nanoparticles of Au or silver (Ag) when incubated with ionic solutions of Au or Ag. These observations prompted us to hypothesize that during aurotherapy, at the site of an arthritic joint, the ionic Au could be coordinated to the CS molecules ubiquitously present in the cartilage tissue of the joints and be reduced into metallic (nano)particles of Au(0). To test this hypothesis we have generated nanoparticles of Au or Ag using cartilage tissue or CS and tested these for their potential anti-inflammatory properties in an embryonic zebrafish model for identifying nanomaterials that possess anti-inflammatory properties. Amputation of the caudal fin results in a characteristic acute inflammatory response which can be monitored in vivo. Preliminary results indicate little toxicity from exposure to the Au or Ag nanoparticles solutions at concentrations up to 100mM and the magnitude of the inflammatory response was significantly decreased in the presence of biologically-synthesized Au or Ag nanoparticles.
Journal: TechConnect Briefs
Volume: 2, Nanotechnology 2008: Life Sciences, Medicine & Bio Materials – Technical Proceedings of the 2008 NSTI Nanotechnology Conference and Trade Show, Volume 2
Published: June 1, 2008
Pages: 501 - 504
Industry sectors: Advanced Materials & Manufacturing | Medical & Biotech