Metal Nanoclusters for Biosensing and Drug Delivery Applications
This chapter summarizes research progress in the application of metal nanoclusters (MNC) in biological systems, namely selective targeting of specific bio-oriented species and drug delivery, especially regarding cancer treatment. It provides a brief outlook regarding, challenges in, and limitations in MNCs research. The chapter presents examples of application of MNCs in different aspects of theranostics, namely targeting of specific bio-oriented species and drug delivery, especially regarding cancer treatment and imaging, accentuating their advantageous properties that are vital in practical applications. MNCs stabilized with thiol-based ligands, amines, biomolecules, DNA, and bovine serum albumin display a unique core-shell configuration, which can serve as the recognition site that will tether to a target molecule, leading to a change in the optical properties of MNCs. Hence, the fluorescence of MNCs can be exploited as an optical probe to witness interactions with biologically oriented species. Fluorescence quenching is also reported to be a valuable biosensor platform to target specific proteins.