Theranostics 2019; 9(25):7697-7713. doi:10.7150/thno.38565 This issue

Research Paper

Endogenous oxygen generating multifunctional theranostic nanoplatform for enhanced photodynamic-photothermal therapy and multimodal imaging

Kun Wu1, Honghai Zhao1, Zhiquan Sun1, Bing Wang1, Xueying Tang1, Yeneng Dai1, Meixing Li1, Qingming Shen1✉, Hui Zhang1,2✉, Quli Fan1✉, Wei Huang1,3

1. Key Laboratory for Organic Electronics and Information Displays & Jiangsu Key Laboratory for Biosensors, Institute of Advanced Materials (IAM), Jiangsu National Synergetic Innovation Center for Advanced Materials (SICAM), Nanjing University of Posts & Telecommunications, Nanjing 210023, China.
2. Jiangsu Key Laboratory of New Power Batteries, College of Chemistry and Materials Science, Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing 210097, China
3. Shaanxi Institute of Flexible Electronics (SIFE), Northwestern Polytechnical University, Xi'an 710072, China

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Wu K, Zhao H, Sun Z, Wang B, Tang X, Dai Y, Li M, Shen Q, Zhang H, Fan Q, Huang W. Endogenous oxygen generating multifunctional theranostic nanoplatform for enhanced photodynamic-photothermal therapy and multimodal imaging. Theranostics 2019; 9(25):7697-7713. doi:10.7150/thno.38565. Available from

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Graphic abstract

Phototherapy, including photothermal therapy (PTT) and photodynamic therapy (PDT), has been considered as a noninvasive option for cancer therapy. However, insufficient penetration depth, tumor hypoxia, and a single treatment method severely limit the effectiveness of treatment.

Methods: In this study, a multifunctional theranostic nanoplatform has been fabricated based on Au/Ag-MnO2 hollow nanospheres (AAM HNSs). The Au/Ag alloy HNSs were first synthesized by galvanic replacement reaction and then the MnO2 nanoparticles were deposited on the Au/Ag alloy HNSs by the reaction between Ag and permanganate (KMnO4), finally obtained the AAM HNSs. Then, SH-PEG was modified on the surface of AAM HNSs by the interaction of sulfhydryl and Au/Ag alloy, which improved the dispersibility and biocompatibility of the HNS. Next, the PDT photosensitizer Ce6 was loaded into AAM HNSs, benefiting from the hollow interior of the structure, and the AAM-Ce6 HNSs were obtained.

Results: The AAM HNSs exhibit broad absorption at the near infrared (NIR) biological window and remarkable photothermal conversion ability in the NIR-II window. The MnO2 nanoparticles can catalyze endogenous H2O2 to generate O2 and enhance the therapeutic effect of PDT on tumor tissue. Simultaneously, MnO2 nanoparticles intelligently respond to the tumor microenvironment and degrade to release massive Mn2+ ions, which introduce magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) properties. When AAM-Ce6 HNSs are loaded with Ce6, the AAM-Ce6 HNSs can be used for triple-modal imaging (fluorescence/photoacoustic/magnetic resonance imaging, FL/PAI/MRI) guided combination tumor phototherapy (PTT/PDT).

Conclusion: This multifunctional nanoplatform shows synergistic therapeutic efficacy better than any single therapy by achieving multimodal imaging guided cancer combination phototherapy, which are promising for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

Keywords: oxygen generation, tumor hypoxia, photothermal therapy, photodynamic therapy, multimodal imaging