Intraparticle Molecular Orbital Engineering of Semiconducting Polymer Nanoparticles as Amplified Theranostics for In Vivo Photoacoustic Imaging and Photothermal Therapy
Date of Issue2016
School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering
Optical theranostic nanoagents that seamlessly and synergistically integrate light-generated signals with photothermal or photodynamic therapy can provide opportunities for cost-effective precision medicine, while the potential for clinical translation requires them to have good biocompatibility and high imaging/therapy performance. We herein report an intraparticle molecular orbital engineering approach to simultaneously enhance photoacoustic brightness and photothermal therapy efficacy of semiconducting polymer nanoparticles (SPNs) for in vivo imaging and treatment of cancer. The theranostic SPNs have a binary optical component nanostructure, wherein a near-infrared absorbing semiconducting polymer and an ultrasmall carbon dot (fullerene) interact with each other to induce photoinduced electron transfer upon light irradiation. Such an intraparticle optoelectronic interaction augments heat generation and consequently enhances the photoacoustic signal and maximum photothermal temperature of SPNs by 2.6- and 1.3-fold, respectively. With the use of the amplified SPN as the theranostic nanoagent, it permits enhanced photoacoustic imaging and photothermal ablation of tumor in living mice. Our study thus not only introduces a category of purely organic optical theranostics but also highlights a molecular guideline to amplify the effectiveness of light-intensive imaging and therapeutic nanosystems.
Semiconducting polymer nanoparticles
© 2016 American Chemical Society. This is the author created version of a work that has been peer reviewed and accepted for publication by ACS Nano, American Chemical Society. It incorporates referee’s comments but changes resulting from the publishing process, such as copyediting, structural formatting, may not be reflected in this document. The published version is available at: [http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsnano.6b00168].