Photosensitizer-loaded gold nanorods for near infrared photodynamic and photothermal cancer therapy


Despite the advancement of photodynamic therapy and photothermal therapy, the ability to form compact nanocomplex for combined photodynamic and photothermal cancer therapy under a single near infrared irradiation remains limited. In this work, we prepared an integrated sub-100 nm nanosystem for simultaneous near infrared photodynamic and photothermal cancer therapy. The nanosystem was formed by adsorption of silicon 2,3-naphthalocyanine dihydroxide onto gold nanorod followed by covalent stabilization with alkylthiol linked polyethylene glycol. The effects of alkylthiol chain length on drug loading, release and cell killing efficacy were examined using 6-mercaptohexanoic acid, 11-mercaptoundecanoic acid and 16-mercaptohexadecanoic acid. We found that the loading efficiency of silicon 2,3-naphthalocyanine dihydroxide increased and the release rate decreased with the increase of the alkylthiol chain length. We demonstrated that the combined near infrared photodynamic and photothermal therapy using the silicon 2,3-naphthalocyanine dihydroxide-loaded gold nanorods exhibit superior efficacy in cancer cell destruction as compared to photodynamic therapy and photothermal therapy alone. The nanocomplex stabilized with 16-mercaptohexadecanoic acid linked polyethylene glycol provided highest cell killing efficiency as compared to those stabilized with the other two stabilizers under low drug dose. This new nanosystem has potential to completely eradicate tumors via noninvasive phototherapy, preventing tumor reoccurrence and metastasis.

Publication Title

Journal of Colloid and Interface Science