Theranostics 2017; 7(8):2177-2185. doi:10.7150/thno.20545

Research Paper

Self-Assembly of Semiconducting-Plasmonic Gold Nanoparticles with Enhanced Optical Property for Photoacoustic Imaging and Photothermal Therapy

Zhen Yang1, 2, Jibin Song2✉, Yunlu Dai2, Jingyi Chen3, Feng Wang3, Lisen Lin2, Yijing Liu2, Fuwu Zhang2, Guocan Yu2, Zijian Zhou2, Wenpei Fan2, Wei Huang1, Quli Fan1✉, Xiaoyuan Chen2✉

1. Key Laboratory for Organic Electronics and Information Displays & Institute of Advanced Materials (IAM), Jiangsu National Synergetic Innovation Center for Advanced Materials (SICAM), Nanjing University of Posts & Telecommunications, Nanjing 210023, China;
2. Laboratory of Molecular Imaging and Nanomedicine (LOMIN), National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB), National Institutes of Health (NIH) Bethesda, MD 20892, USA;
3. Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Arkansas 72701, USA.

Abstract

Although various noble metal and semiconducting molecules have been developed as photoacoustic (PA) agents, the use of semiconducting polymer-metal nanoparticle hybrid materials to enhance PA signal has not been explored. A novel semiconducting-plasmonic nanovesicle was fabricated by self-assembly of semiconducting poly(perylene diimide) (PPDI) and poly(ethylene glycol (PEG) tethered gold nanoparticles (Au@PPDI/PEG). A highly localized and strongly enhanced electromagnetic (EM) field is distributed between adjacent gold nanoparticles in the vesicular shell, where the absorbing collapsed PPDI is present. Significantly, the EM field in turn enhances the light absorption efficiency of PPDI, leading to a much greater photothermal effect and a stronger photoacoustic signal compared to PDI nanoparticle or gold nanovesicle alone. The optical property of the hybrid vesicle can be further tailored by controlling the ratio of PPDI and gold nanoparticle as well as the adjustable interparticle distance of gold nanoparticles localized in the vesicular shell. In vivo imaging and therapeutic evaluation demonstrated that the hybrid vesicle is an excellent probe for cancer theranostics.

Keywords: perylene diimide, gold nanoparticle, vesicle, semiconducting-plasmonic coupling, photoacoustic imaging.

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How to cite this article:
Yang Z, Song J, Dai Y, Chen J, Wang F, Lin L, Liu Y, Zhang F, Yu G, Zhou Z, Fan W, Huang W, Fan Q, Chen X. Self-Assembly of Semiconducting-Plasmonic Gold Nanoparticles with Enhanced Optical Property for Photoacoustic Imaging and Photothermal Therapy. Theranostics 2017; 7(8):2177-2185. doi:10.7150/thno.20545. Available from http://www.thno.org/v07p2177.htm