Near-infrared-absorbing gold nanopopcorns with iron oxide cluster core for magnetically amplified photothermal and photodynamic cancer therapy


We present the synthesis and application of a new type of dual magnetic and plasmonic nanostructures for magnetic-field-guided drug delivery and combined photothermal and photodynamic cancer therapy. Near-infrared-absorbing gold nanopopcorns containing a self-assembled iron oxide cluster core were prepared via a seed-mediated growth method. The hybrid nanostructures are superparamagnetic and show great photothermal conversion efficiency (? = 61%) under near-infrared irradiation. Compact and stable nanocomplexes for photothermal-photodynamic therapy were formed by coating the nanoparticles with near-infrared-absorbing photosensitizer silicon 2,3-naphthalocyannie dihydroxide and stabilization with poly(ethylene glycol) linked with 11-mercaptoundecanoic acid. The nanocomplex showed enhanced release and cellular uptake of the photosensitizer with the use of a gradient magnetic field. In vitro studies using two different cell lines showed that the dual mode photothermal and photodynamic therapy with the assistance of magnetic-field-guided drug delivery dramatically improved the therapeutic efficacy of cancer cells as compared to the combination treatment without using a magnetic field and the two treatments alone. The three-in-one nanocomplex has the potential to carry therapeutic agents deep into a tumor through magnetic manipulation and to completely eradicate tumors by subsequent photothermal and photodynamic therapies without systemic toxicity.

Publication Title

ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces