Theranostics 2016; 6(7):1031-1042. doi:10.7150/thno.14431 This issue

Research Paper

Polydopamine Nanoparticles as a Versatile Molecular Loading Platform to Enable Imaging-guided Cancer Combination Therapy

Ziliang Dong1, Hua Gong1, Min Gao1, Wenwen Zhu1, Xiaoqi Sun1, Liangzhu Feng1, Tingting Fu2, Yonggang Li2, Zhuang Liu1✉

1. Institute of Functional Nano & Soft Materials (FUNSOM), Collaborative Innovation Center of Suzhou Nano Science and Technology, the Jiangsu Key Laboratory for Carbon-Based Functional Materials & Devices, Soochow University, Suzhou, Jiangsu 215123, China.
2. The First Affiliated Hospital of Soochow University, Suzhou, Jiangsu 215006, China.

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY-NC) License. See for full terms and conditions.
Dong Z, Gong H, Gao M, Zhu W, Sun X, Feng L, Fu T, Li Y, Liu Z. Polydopamine Nanoparticles as a Versatile Molecular Loading Platform to Enable Imaging-guided Cancer Combination Therapy. Theranostics 2016; 6(7):1031-1042. doi:10.7150/thno.14431. Available from

File import instruction


Graphic abstract

Cancer combination therapy to treat tumors with different therapeutic approaches can efficiently improve treatment efficacy and reduce side effects. Herein, we develop a theranostic nano-platform based on polydopamine (PDA) nanoparticles, which then are exploited as a versatile carrier to allow simultaneous loading of indocyanine green (ICG), doxorubicin (DOX) and manganese ions (PDA-ICG-PEG/DOX(Mn)), to enable imaging-guided chemo & photothermal cancer therapy. In this system, ICG acts as a photothermal agent, which shows red-shifted near-infrared (NIR) absorbance and enhanced photostability compared with free ICG. DOX, a model chemotherapy drug, is then loaded onto the surface of PDA-ICG-PEG with high efficiency. With Mn2+ ions intrinsically chelated, PDA-ICG-PEG/DOX(Mn) is able to offer contrast under T1-weighted magnetic resonance (MR) imaging. In a mouse tumor model, the MR imaging-guided combined chemo- & photothermal therapy achieves a remarkable synergistic therapeutic effect compared with the respective single treatment modality. This work demonstrates that PDA nanoparticles could serve as a versatile molecular loading platform for MR imaging guided combined chemo- & photothermal therapy with minimal side effects, showing great potential for cancer theranostics.

Keywords: Polydopamine, Indocyanine green, Nano-Drug delivery system, Combination therapy, Magnetic resonance imaging.