Gold nanorods reflectance discriminate benign from malignant oral lesions

Abraham Hirshberg, Irit Allon, Ilya Novikov, Rinat Ankri, Ariel Ashkenazy, Dror Fixler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Nanoparticle-based contrast agents have been used as an imaging tool for selectively detecting cancerous processes. We aimed to evaluate the detection sensitivity of reflection measurements of gold nanorods (GNRs) bio-conjugated to anti-epidermal growth factor receptor (GNRs-EGFR) monoclonal antibodies in discriminating benign from premalignant and malignant human oral lesions. Tissue sections incubated with GNRs-EGFR and the reflectance spectrum was measured using hyperspectral microscopy. Reflectance intensity increased with the progression of the disease, lowest in the control group and increasing as the dysplastic changes increase (P < 0.001 for linear trend of grade). Intensity was significantly higher in the moderate and severe dysplasias and cancer patients than in the controls and mild dysplasia (t test P = 0.0003, Mann–Whitney P < 0.0001). The GNRs reflection measurements can discriminate benign and mild dysplastic lesions from the more severe dysplasia and invasive cancer, suggesting an objective, not dependent on the qualification of a technician and with less interpretation errors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1333-1339
Number of pages7
JournalNanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology, and Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 May 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Gold nanorods
  • Mouth neoplasms
  • Nanoconjugates
  • Nanospheres
  • Oral cancer
  • Oral potentially malignant disorders


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