Photo-decomposable Organic Nanoparticles for Combined Tumor Optical Imaging and Multiple Phototherapies.

PMID 27877241


Combination of photodynamic therapy (PDT) with photothermal therapy (PTT) has achieved significantly improved therapeutic efficacy compared to a single phototherapy modality. However, most nanomaterials used for combined PDT/PTT are made of non-biodegradable materials (e.g., gold nanorods, carbon nanotubes, and graphenes) and may remain intact in the body for long time, raising concerns over their potential long-term toxicity. Here we report a new combined PDT/PTT nanomedicine, designated SP(3)NPs, that exhibit photo-decomposable, photodynamic and photothermal properties. SP(3)NPs were prepared by self-assembly of PEGylated cypate, comprising FDA-approved PEG and an ICG derivative. We confirmed the ability of SP(3)NPs to generate both singlet oxygen for a photodynamic effect and heat for photothermal therapy in response to NIR laser irradiation in vitro. Also, the unique ability of SP(3)NPs to undergo irreversible decomposition upon NIR laser irradiation was demonstrated. Further our experimental results demonstrated that SP(3)NPs strongly accumulated in tumor tissue owing to their highly PEGylated surface and relatively small size (~60 nm), offering subsequent imaging-guided combined PDT/PTT treatment that resulted in tumor eradication and prolonged survival of mice. Taken together, our SP(3)NPs described here may represent a novel and facile approach for next-generation theranostics with great promise for translation into clinical practice in the future.