Theranostics 2016; 6(13):2306-2313. doi:10.7150/thno.15843

Research Paper

Core-Shell Nanostars for Multimodal Therapy and Imaging

Mengyuan Li, Lele Li, Changyou Zhan, Daniel S. Kohane

Laboratory for Biomaterials and Drug Delivery, Department of Anesthesiology, Division of Critical Care Medicine, Children's Hospital Boston, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, 02115. Department of Chemical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, 02139. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge MA 02139, USA.

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.
Li M, Li L, Zhan C, Kohane DS. Core-Shell Nanostars for Multimodal Therapy and Imaging. Theranostics 2016; 6(13):2306-2313. doi:10.7150/thno.15843. Available from

File import instruction


The coupling of diagnostic capability and effective therapy in a single multifunctional nanomedicine is desirable but remains challenging. Here, we developed multifunctional nanoparticles consisting of a gold nanostar (AuNS) core with a shell of metal-drug coordination polymer (CP). The AuNS core enabled plasmonic photothermal effect and two-photon photoluminescence (TPL), while the CP shell of gadolinium and gemcitabine monophosphate allowed chemotherapy and MRI imaging. The AuNS@CP nanoparticles exhibited a strong T1 contrast signal and could monitor the localization of nanoparticles in vivo through noninvasive MR imaging, while intravital TPL imaging could be used to study nanoparticle behavior in tumors at the microscopic level. The combination of photothermal therapy and chemotherapy inhibited tumor growth in vivo.

Keywords: gold nanostar, imaging