Low-dose X-ray enhanced tumor accumulation of theranostic nanoparticles for high-performance bimodal imaging-guided photothermal therapy

Qiaolin Wei, Jian He, Shuaifei Wang, Shiyuan Hua, Yuchen Qi, Fangyuan Li, Daishun Ling, Min Zhou
Journal of Nanobiotechnology2021
Background: Theranostic nanoparticles (NPs) have achieved rapid development owing to their capacity for personalized multimodal diagnostic imaging and antitumor therapy. However, the efficient delivery and bulk accumulation of NPs in tumors are still the decisive factors in improving therapeutic effect. It is urgent to seek other methods to alters tumor microenvironment (like vascular permeability and density) for enhancing the efficiency of nanoparticles delivery and accumulation at the tumor site. Methods: Herein, we developed a Raman-tagged hollow gold nanoparticle (termed as HAuNP@DTTC) with surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) property, which could be accumulated efficiently in tumor site with the pre-irradiation of low-dose (3 Gy) X-ray and then exerted highly antitumor effect in breast cancer model. Results: The tumor growth inhibition (TGI) of HAuNP@DTTC-induced photothermal therapy (PTT) was increased from 60% for PTT only to 97%, and the lethal distant metastasis of 4T1 breast cancer (such as lung and liver) were effectively inhibited under the X-ray-assisted PTT treatment. Moreover, with the strong absorbance induced by localized surface plasmon resonance in near-infrared (NIR) region, the signals of Raman/photoacoustic (PA) imaging in tumor was also significantly enhanced after the administration of HAuNP@DTTC, indicating it could be used as the Raman/PA imaging and photothermal agent simultaneously under 808 nm laser irradiation. Conclusions: Our studied of the as-prepared HAuNP@DTTC integrated the Raman/PA imaging and PTT functions into the single platform, and showed the good prospects for clinical applications especially with the low-dose X-ray irradiation as an adjuvant, which will be a productive strategy for enhancing drug delivery and accumulation in tumor theranostics. Graphic Abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

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