A light-controllable specific drug delivery nanoplatform for targeted bimodal imaging-guided photothermal/chemo synergistic cancer therapy

Yuan Guo, Xing-Yue Wang, Yu-Li Chen, Feng-Qiu Liu, Mi-Xiao Tan, Meng Ao, Jin-Hong Yu, Hai-Tao Ran, Zhao-Xia Wang
Acta Biomaterialia 2018 September 19

Breast cancer is a severe threat to the health and lives of women due to its difficult early diagnosis and the unsatisfactory therapeutic efficacy of breast cancer treatments. The development of theranostic strategies to combat breast cancer with high accuracy and effectiveness is therefore urgently needed. In this study, we describe a near-infrared (NIR) light-controllable, targeted and biocompatible drug delivery nanoplatform (PFH-PTX@PLGA/SPIO-Her) for photoacoustic (PA)/ultrasound (US) bimodal imaging-guided photothermal (PTT)/chemo synergistic cancer therapy of breast cancer. Carboxyl-modified PEGylated poly (lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA-PEG-COOH) constituted the skeleton of the nanoplatform. Especially, the antibody Herceptin was modified onto the surface of nanoplatform for active HER2-targing to facilitate the tumor accumulation of the nanoplatform. The encapsulated superparamagnetic iron oxide (SPIO) nanoparticles could be employed as an excellent PA imaging agent to guide tumor therapy. When exposed to NIR light, the SPIO also could transform NIR light into thermal energy for photothermal ablation of tumor. The NIR-induced thermal effect subsequently triggered the optical droplet vaporization (ODV) of perfluorohexane (PFH) to generate PFH gas bubbles, which not only achieved the US imaging enhancement, but also contributed to the release of loaded paclitaxel (PTX) from the nanoplatform for significantly improving PTT therapeutic efficacy. Our results demonstrated that the targeted tumor accumulation, accurate real-time bimodal imaging, and the abundant drug release at the tumor site were all closely associated with the PTT therapeutic efficacy. Therefore, the theranostic nanoplatform is a very promising strategy for targeted imaging-guided photothermal/chemo synergistic tumor therapy with high therapeutic efficacy and minimized side effects.

STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE: Breast cancer is the most frequent cancer in women. Herein, we successfully developed a light-controllable and HER2 targeted theranostic nanoparticels (PFH-PTX@PLGA/SPIO-Her) as a specific drug delivery nanoplatform to overcome the low accuracy of tumor detection and the low specificity of traditional chemo-therapeutic protocols. The study demonstrated that PFH-PTX@PLGA/SPIO-Her could actively target to breast cancer cells with positive HER2 expression. The biocompatible PFH-PTX@PLGA/SPIO-Her nanoparticles as both photoacoustic/ultrasound bimodal imaging agents, photothermal-conversion nanomaterials (photothermal hyperthermia) and controllable drug delivery nanoagents (optical droplet vaporization) have completely eradicated the tumor without severe side effects. The theranostic strategy not only integrates strengthens of traditional imaging or therapeutic modalities, but also paves a new way for the efficient cancer treatment by taking the advantage of quickly-developing nanomedicine.

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