Semimetal nanomaterials of antimony as highly efficient agent for photoacoustic imaging and photothermal therapy

Wanwan Li, Pengfei Rong, Kai Yang, Peng Huang, Kang Sun, Xiaoyuan Chen
Biomaterials 2015, 45: 18-26
In this study we report semimetal nanomaterials of antimony (Sb) as highly efficient agent for photoacoustic imaging (PAI) and photothermal therapy (PTT). The Sb nanorod bundles have been synthesized through a facile route by mixing 1-octadecane (ODE) and oleyl amine (OAm) as the solvent. The aqueous dispersion of PEGylated Sb NPs, due to its broad and strong photoabsorption ranging from ultraviolet (UV) to near-infrared (NIR) wavelengths, is applicable as a photothermal agent driven by 808 nm laser with photothermal conversion efficiency up to 41%, noticeably higher than most of the PTT agents reported before. Our in vitro experiments also showed that cancer cell ablation effect of PEGylated Sb NPs was dependent on laser power. By intratumoral administration of PEGylated Sb NPs, 100% tumor ablation can be realized by using NIR laser irradiation with a lower power of 1 W/cm(2) for 5 min (or 0.5 W/cm(2) for 10 min) and no obvious toxic side effect is identified after photothermal treatment. Moreover, intense PA signal was also observed after intratumoral injection of PEGylated Sb NPs and NIR laser irradiation due to their strong NIR photoabsorption, suggesting PEGylated Sb NPs as a potential NIR PA agent. Based on the findings of this work, further development of using other semimetal nanocrystals as highly efficient NIR agents can be achieved for vivo tumor imaging and PTT.

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