PH-triggered poly(ethylene glycol)-poly(lactic acid/glycolic acid)/ croconaine nanoparticles-assisted multiplexed photoacoustic imaging and enhanced photothermal cancer therapy

Shiying Li, Kwok Ho Lui, Xin Li, Xueyang Fang, Wai Sum Lo, Yan Juan Gu, Wing Tak Wong
ACS Applied Bio Materials2021
The most advantageous and attractive property of photoacoustic imaging is its capability to visualize and differentiate multiple species according to their unique absorbance profiles simultaneously in a single mixture. We here report the pH-sensitive near-infrared (NIR) croconaine (Croc) dyes-loaded copolymeric PEG-PLGA nanoparticles (NPs) for in vivo multiplexed PA imaging and pH-responsive photothermal therapy (PTT) in an orthotopic xenograft model. PEG chains on the polymeric NPs shell were conjugated with iRGD in another set of NPs to realize efficient tumor targeting. The distribution and the intensity of two sets of iRGD-targeted and nontargeted NPs inside tumors are simultaneously imaged and monitored in vivo. Meanwhile, the utilization of iRGD-targeted PPC815 NPs as a pH-active photothermal agent with promising tumor-inhibition efficacy was demonstrated. As a result, this nanoplatform is capable of assisting multiwavelength unmixing of PA imaging as well as providing remarkable photothermal ablation for anticancer treatment.

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