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PEGylated Micelle Nanoparticles Encapsulating a Non-Fluorescent Near-Infrared Organic Dye as a Safe and Highly-Effective Photothermal Agent for In Vivo Cancer Therapy

Authors

  • Liang Cheng,

    1. Jiangsu Key Laboratory for Carbon-Based, Functional Materials & Devices, Institute of Functional Nano & Soft Materials Laboratory (FUNSOM), Soochow University, Suzhou, Jiangsu 215123, China
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  • Weiwei He,

    1. Department of Polymer Science and Engineering, Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Advanced Functional, Polymer Design and Application, College of Chemistry, Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, Soochow University, Suzhou, Jiangsu 215006, China
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  • Hua Gong,

    1. Jiangsu Key Laboratory for Carbon-Based, Functional Materials & Devices, Institute of Functional Nano & Soft Materials Laboratory (FUNSOM), Soochow University, Suzhou, Jiangsu 215123, China
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  • Chao Wang,

    1. Jiangsu Key Laboratory for Carbon-Based, Functional Materials & Devices, Institute of Functional Nano & Soft Materials Laboratory (FUNSOM), Soochow University, Suzhou, Jiangsu 215123, China
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  • Qian Chen,

    1. Jiangsu Key Laboratory for Carbon-Based, Functional Materials & Devices, Institute of Functional Nano & Soft Materials Laboratory (FUNSOM), Soochow University, Suzhou, Jiangsu 215123, China
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  • Zhengping Cheng,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Polymer Science and Engineering, Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Advanced Functional, Polymer Design and Application, College of Chemistry, Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, Soochow University, Suzhou, Jiangsu 215006, China
    • Zhengping Cheng, Department of Polymer Science and Engineering, Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Advanced Functional, Polymer Design and Application, College of Chemistry, Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, Soochow University, Suzhou, Jiangsu 215006, China.

      Zhuang Liu, Jiangsu Key Laboratory for Carbon-Based, Functional Materials & Devices, Institute of Functional Nano & Soft Materials Laboratory (FUNSOM), Soochow University, Suzhou, Jiangsu 215123, China

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  • Zhuang Liu

    Corresponding author
    1. Jiangsu Key Laboratory for Carbon-Based, Functional Materials & Devices, Institute of Functional Nano & Soft Materials Laboratory (FUNSOM), Soochow University, Suzhou, Jiangsu 215123, China
    • Zhengping Cheng, Department of Polymer Science and Engineering, Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Advanced Functional, Polymer Design and Application, College of Chemistry, Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, Soochow University, Suzhou, Jiangsu 215006, China.

      Zhuang Liu, Jiangsu Key Laboratory for Carbon-Based, Functional Materials & Devices, Institute of Functional Nano & Soft Materials Laboratory (FUNSOM), Soochow University, Suzhou, Jiangsu 215123, China

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Abstract

Photothermal therapy (PTT), as a minimally invasive and highly effective cancer treatment approach, has received widespread attention in recent years. Tremendous effort has been devoted to explore various types of photothermal agents with high near-infrared (NIR) absorbance for PTT cancer treatment. Despite many exciting progresses in the area, effective yet safe photothermal agents with good biocompatibility and biodegradability are still highly desired. In this work, a new organic PTT agent based on polyethylene glycol (PEG) coated micelle nanoparticles encapsulating a heptamethine indocyanine dye IR825 is developed, showing a strong NIR absorption band and a rather low quantum yield, for in vivo photothermal treatment of cancer. It is found that the IR825–PEG nanoparticles show ultra-high in vivo tumor uptake after intravenous injection, and appear to be an excellent PTT agent for tumor ablation under a low-power laser irradiation, without rendering any appreciable toxicity to the treated animals. Compared with inorganic nanomaterials and conjugated polymers being explored in PTT, the NIR-absorbing micelle nanoparticles presented here may have the least safety concern while showing excellent treatment efficacy, and thus may be a new photothermal agent potentially useful in clinical applications.

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