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Vehicle-Free Nanotheranostic Self-Assembled from Clinically Approved Dyes for Cancer Fluorescence Imaging and Photothermal/Photodynamic Combinational Therapy
Pharmaceutics  (IF6.321),  Pub Date : 2022-05-17, DOI: 10.3390/pharmaceutics14051074
Mingbin Huang, Chao Xu, Sen Yang, Ziqian Zhang, Zuwu Wei, Ming Wu, Fangqin Xue

Phototherapy, including photothermal therapy (PTT) and photodynamic therapy (PDT) has attracted growing attention as a noninvasive option for cancer treatment. At present, researchers have developed various “all-in-one” nanoplatforms for cancer imaging and PTT/PDT combinational therapy. However, the complex structure, tedious preparation procedures, overuse of extra carriers and severe side effects hinder their biomedical applications. In this work, we reported a nanoplatform (designated as ICG-MB) self-assembly from two different FDA-approved dyes of indocyanine green (ICG) and methylene blue (MB) without any additional excipients for cancer fluorescence imaging and combinational PTT/PDT. ICG-MB was found to exhibit good dispersion in the aqueous phase and improve the photostability and cellular uptake of free ICG and MB, thus exhibiting enhanced photothermal conversion and singlet oxygen (1O2) generation abilities to robustly ablate cancer cells under 808 nm and 670 nm laser irradiation. After intravenous injection, ICG-MB effectively accumulated at tumor sites with a near-infrared (NIR) fluorescence signal, which helped to delineate the targeted area for NIR laser-triggered phototoxicity. As a consequence, ICG-MB displayed a combinational PTT/PDT effect to potently inhibit tumor growth without causing any system toxicities in vivo. In conclusion, this minimalist, effective and biocompatible nanotheranostic would provide a promising candidate for cancer phototherapy based on current available dyes in clinic.