The Influence of Gold Nanoparticle Morphology in Theranostic

What is the morphology of gold nanoparticle? The answer is many. Nanoparticles can take different form, from a normal sphere, to a hollow ball, to an elongated rod, to a spiky be urchin-like.

The different types of gold nanoparticle morphology are now a huge interest in medical field, especially in medicine. Before we dwelled further in this topic, let’s explore why the effect of morphologies towards nanoparticle properties.


Gold Nanosphere, Nanorod, and Nanostar

Nanospehere, nanorod, and nanostar are probably the most widely studied nanoparticle shape. The meaning behind this term is pretty straightforward. Nanosphere because it has sphere shape, nanorod because it has elongated rod shape, and due to its spiky shape. Nanospehere is the common morphology you got when you synthesized nanoparticle. While to get more unique shape like nanorod and nanostar, scientist need to synthesize them in controlled environment.

Gold Nanorod

Gold Nanorod

Gold Nanosphere

Gold Nanostar






Both optical properties Localized Plasmon Resonance (LSPR) are important to control the ability for biosensing of small molecules, such as enzymes, antigens and antibodies 1 . Studies conducted by khlebstov, et. to the. 2   and Panchapakesan, et. to the. 3  have shown that the LSPR range of gold nanospheres, gold nanorods and gold nanostars are all different.

As both of these factors are shape-dependent, manipulation of the morphology of the nanoparticle can result in a very specific diagnostic tool. Furthermore, the effect of LSPR is more pronounced in small molecules like nanoparticle, and exceptionally strong with gold nanoparticle 4 . Thus, due to its strong LSPR, gold nanoparticle can be used to create a very sensitive biosensors.

Gold Nanoparticle Morphology and Theranostic

Currently, theranostics technology has become very popular in the field of personalized medicine. Theranostics is a fusion of therapeutic and diagnostic steps. It aims to create unique pharmaceutical formulations for each patient where the drug can display greater therapeutic effectiveness but less toxicity 3 . According to , theranostics uses specific biological pathways in the human body, to acquire diagnostic images and also to deliver a therapeutic dose of radiation to the patient.

The manipulation of gold nanoparticle morphology can create a perfect agent for theranostic purposes. Different gold nanoparticles morphologies can be tuned to create a sensitive yet specific diagnostic agent. Furthermore,  the shape of nanoparticles can also affect their stability when conjugated with different molecules 3 .

Combined with its non-toxicity and easy manipulation, gold nanoparticle can be very crucial for the creation of personalized medicine, in which different shape can be tuned to suit different purposes.

* Solmeglas will have a range of gold nanosphere, nanorod, and nanostar. Subscribe to our newsletter to receive our latest news.


1.) Jules L., H, Nikhil, B, Sarah D., R, & Pedro, E 2014, ‘Localized Surface Plasmon Resonance as a Biosensing Platform for Developing Countries’,  Biosensors, Vol 4, Iss 2, Pp 172- 188 (2014) , 2, p. 172

2.) Khlebtsov, B, Khanadeev, V, Panfilova, E, Pylaev, T, Bibikova, O, Staroverov, S, Bogatyrev, V, Dykman, L, & Khlebtsov, N 2013, ‘New types of nanomaterials: powders of gold nanospheres, nanorods, nanostars, and gold-silver nanocages’,  Nanotechnologies In Russia , 3-4, p. 209

3.) Panchapakesan, B, Book-Newell, B, Sethu, P, Rao, M, & Irudayaraj, J 2011, ‘Gold nanoprobes for theranostics’,  Nanomedicine , 10, p. 1787

4.) Hafner, J, & Hafner, J nd, ‘Shape-dependent Plasmon Resonances of Gold Nanoparticles’,  Journal Of Materials Chemistry , 18, 21, p. 2415-2419.


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