skip to main content

Title: Targeting mitochondria in cancer cells using gold nanoparticle-enhanced radiotherapy: A Monte Carlo study

Purpose: Radiation damage to mitochondria has been shown to alter cellular processes and even lead to apoptosis. Gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) may be used to enhance these effects in scenarios where they collect on the outer membranes of mitochondria. A Monte Carlo (MC) approach is used to estimate mitochondrial dose enhancement under a variety of conditions. Methods: The PENELOPE MC code was used to generate dose distributions resulting from photons striking a 13 nm diameter AuNP with various thicknesses of water-equivalent coatings. Similar dose distributions were generated with the AuNP replaced by water so as to estimate the gain in dose on a microscopic scale due to the presence of AuNPs within an irradiated volume. Models of mitochondria with AuNPs affixed to their outer membrane were then generated—considering variation in mitochondrial size and shape, number of affixed AuNPs, and AuNP coating thickness—and exposed (in a dose calculation sense) to source spectra ranging from 6 MV to 90 kVp. Subsequently dose enhancement ratios (DERs), or the dose with the AuNPs present to that for no AuNPs, for the entire mitochondrion and its components were tallied under these scenarios. Results: For a representative case of a 1000 nm diameter mitochondrion affixed with 565more » AuNPs, each with a 13 nm thick coating, the mean DER over the whole organelle ranged from roughly 1.1 to 1.6 for the kilovoltage sources, but was generally less than 1.01 for the megavoltage sources. The outer membrane DERs remained less than 1.01 for the megavoltage sources, but rose to 2.3 for 90 kVp. The voxel maximum DER values were as high as 8.2 for the 90 kVp source and increased further when the particles clustered together. The DER exhibited dependence on the mitochondrion dimensions, number of AuNPs, and the AuNP coating thickness. Conclusions: Substantial dose enhancement directly to the mitochondria can be achieved under the conditions modeled. If the mitochondrion dose can be directly enhanced, as these simulations show, this work suggests the potential for both a tool to study the role of mitochondria in cellular response to radiation and a novel avenue for radiation therapy in that the mitochondria may be targeted, rather than the nuclear DNA.« less
Authors:
;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [2]
  1. Department of Medical Physics, Jack Ady Cancer Centre, Lethbridge, Alberta T1J 1W5 (Canada)
  2. (Canada)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22413418
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Medical Physics; Journal Volume: 42; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: (c) 2015 American Association of Physicists in Medicine; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
60 APPLIED LIFE SCIENCES; APOPTOSIS; GOLD; MITOCHONDRIA; MONTE CARLO METHOD; NANOPARTICLES; NEOPLASMS; RADIATION DOSE DISTRIBUTIONS; RADIATION DOSES; RADIATION EFFECTS; RADIOTHERAPY