Multifunctional Rbx WO3 nanorods for simultaneous combined chemo-photothermal therapy and photoacoustic/CT imaging

Gan Tian, Xiao Zhang, Xiaopeng Zheng, Wenyan Yin, Longfei Ruan, Xiaodong Liu, Liangjun Zhou, Liang Yan, Shoujian Li, Zhanjun Gu, Yuliang Zhao
Small 2014 October 29, 10 (20): 4160-70
Light-triggered drug delivery based on near-infrared (NIR)-mediated photothermal nanocarriers has received tremendous attention for the construction of cooperative therapeutic systems in nanomedicine. Herein, a new paradigm of light-responsive drug carrier that doubles as a photothermal agent is reported based on the NIR light-absorber, Rb(x) WO3 (rubidium tungsten bronze, Rb-TB) nanorods. With doxorubicin (DOX) payload, the DOX-loaded Rb-TB composite (Rb-TB-DOX) simultaneously provides a burst-like drug release and intense heating effect upon 808-nm NIR light exposure. MTT assays show the photothermally enhanced antitumor activity of Rb-TB-DOX to the MCF-7 cancer cells. Most remarkably, Rb-TB-DOX combined with NIR irradiation also shows dramatically enhanced chemotherapeutic effect to DOX-resistant MCF-7 cells compared with free DOX, demonstrating the enhanced efficacy of combinational chemo-photothermal therapy for potentially overcoming drug resistance in cancer chemotherapy. Furthermore, in vivo study of combined chemo-photothermal therapy is also conducted and realized on pancreatic (Pance-1) tumor-bearing nude mice. Apart from its promise for cancer therapy, the as-prepared Rb-TB can also be employed as a new dual-modal contrast agent for photoacoustic tomography and (PAT) X-ray computed tomography (CT) imaging because of its high NIR optical absorption capability and strong X-ray attenuation ability, respectively. The results presented in the current study suggest promise of the multifunctional Rb(x)WO3 nanorods for applications in cancer theranostics.

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