Theranostics 2020; 10(2):615-629. doi:10.7150/thno.40066 This issue

Research Paper

Supramolecular nanomaterials based on hollow mesoporous drug carriers and macrocycle-capped CuS nanogates for synergistic chemo-photothermal therapy

Jie Yang1, Dihua Dai1, Xinyue Lou1, Lianjun Ma1✉, Bailiang Wang3✉, Ying-Wei Yang1,2✉

1. International Joint Research Laboratory of Nano-Micro Architecture Chemistry, College of Chemistry, and Department of Endoscopics, China-Japan Union Hospital of Jilin University, Jilin University, Changchun 130012, P. R. China
2. The State Key Laboratory of Refractories and Metallurgy, School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Wuhan University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430081, P. R. China
3. School of Ophthalmology & Optometry, Eye Hospital, Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou, 325027, P. R. China

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Yang J, Dai D, Lou X, Ma L, Wang B, Yang YW. Supramolecular nanomaterials based on hollow mesoporous drug carriers and macrocycle-capped CuS nanogates for synergistic chemo-photothermal therapy. Theranostics 2020; 10(2):615-629. doi:10.7150/thno.40066. Available from

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Graphic abstract

Multifunctional supramolecular nanoplatforms that integrate the advantages of different therapeutic techniques can trigger multimodal synergistic treatment of tumors, thus representing an emerging powerful tool for cancer therapeutics.

Methods: In this work, we design and fabricate a multifunctional supramolecular drug delivery platform, namely Fa-mPEG@CP5-CuS@HMSN-Py nanoparticles (FaPCH NPs), consisting of a pyridinium (Py)-modified hollow mesoporous silica nanoparticles-based drug reservoir (HMSN-Py) with high loading capacity, a layer of NIR-operable carboxylatopillar[5]arene (CP5)-functionalized CuS nanoparticles (CP5-CuS) on the surface of HMSN-Py connected through supramolecular host-guest interactions between CP5 rings and Py stalks, and another layer of folic acid (Fa)-conjugated polyethylene glycol (Fa-PEG) antennas by electrostatic interactions capable of active targeting at tumor lesions, in a controlled, highly integrated fashion for synergistic chemo-photothermal therapy.

Results: Fa-mPEG antennas endowed the enhanced active targeting effect toward cancer cells, and CP5-CuS served as not only a quadruple-stimuli responsive nanogate for controllable drug release but also a special agent for NIR-guided photothermal therapy. Meanwhile, anticancer drug doxorubicin (DOX) could be released from the HMSN-Py reservoirs under tumor microenvironments for chemotherapy, thus realizing multimodal synergistic therapeutics. Such a supramolecular drug delivery platform showed effective synergistic chemo-photothermal therapy both in vitro and in vivo.

Conclusion: This novel supramolecular nanoplatform possesses great potential in controlled drug delivery and tumor cellular internalization for synergistic chemo-photothermal therapy, providing a promising approach for multimodal synergistic cancer treatment.

Keywords: drug delivery, hybrid materials, nanotheranostics, pillararenes, supramolecular chemotherapy