Nanostructural Control Enables Optimized Photoacoustic–Fluorescence–Magnetic Resonance Multimodal Imaging and Photothermal Therapy of Brain Tumor

Yukun Duan, Dehong Hu, Bing Guo, Qi Shi, Min Wu, Shidang Xu, Kenry Xin, Liu Jianwen, Jiang Zonghai, Sheng Hairong, Zheng Bin, Liu
Advanced Functional Materials2020
The performance of current multimodal imaging contrast agents is often constrained by the tunability of nanomaterial structural design. Herein, the influence of nanostructure on the overall imaging performance of a composite nanomaterial for multimodal imaging of brain tumors is studied. Newly designed near-infrared molecules (TC1) are encapsulated into nanocomposites with ultrasmall iron oxide nanoparticles (UIONPs), forming stable nanoagents for multimodal imaging and photothermal therapy (PTT). Through a modified nanoprecipitation method, the synthesis of nanocomposites denoted as HALF is realized, in which UIONPs are restricted to half of the nanosphere. Such a unique nanostructure that physically separates TC1 and UIONPs is found with capabilities of mitigating fluorescence quenching, preserving the good performance of photoacoustic imaging, and enhancing the magnetic resonance imaging signals. Decorated with a peptide ligand cRGD for better brain tumor targeting, HALF-cRGD is evaluated both in vitro and in vivo as imaging contrast agents and photothermal therapeutic agents. The good imaging performance and PTT effect of HALF-cRGD in mice models indicate that the rational design and control of nanostructures could optimize multimodal imaging performance using the same components.
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