Two-dimensional magnetic WS2@Fe3O4 nanocomposite with mesoporous silica coating for drug delivery and imaging-guided therapy of cancer

Guangbao Yang, Hua Gong, Teng Liu, Xiaoqi Sun, Liang Cheng, Zhuang Liu
Biomaterials 2015, 60: 62-71
Integrating multiple imaging and therapy functionalities into one single nanoscale platform has been proposed to be a promising strategy in cancer theranostics. In this work, WS2 nanosheets with their surface pre-adsorbed with iron oxide (IO) nanoparticles via self-assembly are coated with a mesoporous silica shell, on to which polyethylene glycol (PEG) is attached. The obtained WS2-IO@MS-PEG composite nanoparticles exhibit many interesting inherent physical properties, including high near-infrared (NIR) light and X-ray absorbance, as well as strong superparamagnetism. In the mean time, the mesoporous silica shell in WS2-IO@MS-PEG could be loaded with a chemotherapy drug, doxorubicin (DOX), whose intracellular release afterwards may be triggered by NIR-induced photothermal heating for enhanced cancer cell killing. Upon systemic administration of such drug-loaded nano-theranostics, efficient tumor homing of WS2-IO@MS-PEG/DOX is observed in tumor-bearing mice as revealed by three-modal fluorescence, magnetic resonance (MR), and X-ray computed tomography (CT) imaging. In vivo combined photothermal & chemotherapy is then carried out with WS2-IO@MS-PEG/DOX, achieving a remarkably synergistic therapeutic effect superior to the respective mono-therapies. Our study highlights the promise of developing multifunctional nanoscale theranostics based on two-dimensional transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDCs) such as WS2 for multimodal imaging-guided combination therapy of cancer.

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