Highly photostable croconium dye-anchored cell membrane vesicle for tumor pH-responsive duplex imaging-guided photothermal therapy

Xiaoting Gao, Shanshan Jiang, Chunying Li, Yunzhi Chen, Yifan Zhang, Peng Huang, Jing Lin
The development of tumor acidic microenvironment-responsive theranostic agents is a research hotspot. Herein, we developed highly photostable amphiphilic croconium dye-anchored red blood cell membrane vesicle (denoted as LET-5) for tumor pH-responsive near-infrared fluorescence (NIRF) and photoacoustic (PA) duplex imaging-guided photothermal therapy. In tumor acidic microenvironment, both NIRF and PA signals of LET-5 were significantly enhanced and the photothermal effect of LET-5 was activated. Notably, cell membrane-based vesicle with enhanced stability and long blood circulation significantly improved the tumor accumulation of croconium dye, thus achieving better therapeutic effect than free croconium dye. These findings provide a promising approach to construct amphiphilic dye-anchored cell membrane vesicle for cancer theranostics.

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