Colloids and surfaces. B, Biointerfaces

Radiosensitizing effect of zinc oxide and silica nanocomposites on cancer cells.

PMID 25829130


Nanoparticulates responsive to X-rays offer increased efficacy of radiation therapy. However, successful demonstrations of such nanoparticle use are limited so far due to lack of significant radiosensitizing effects or poor nanoparticle stability in a biological system. Zinc oxide (ZnO) is the most promising biocompatible material for medicinal applications. In this paper, we report preparation and characterization of scintillating ZnO/SiO2 core-shell nanoparticles. The ZnO/SiO2 nanoparticles absorb ultraviolet (UV) radiation (below 360nm) and emit green fluorescence (400-750nm, maximum 550nm). Under X-ray irradiation (200kVp), the nanoparticles scintillate emitting luminescence in the region 350-700nm (maximum 420nm). The synthesized ZnO/SiO2 nanoparticles are stable in a biologically relevant environment (water and cell growth medium). The potential of the ZnO/SiO2 nanoparticles for radiosensitization is demonstrated in human prostate adenocarcinoma cell lines (LNCaP and Du145). The nanoparticles enhance radiation-induced reduction in cell survival about 2-fold for LNCaP and 1.5-fold for Du145 cells. Radiosensitizing effect can be attributed to X-ray-induced radiocatalysis by the nanoparticles.