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Dynamically tuning near-infrared-induced photothermal performances of TiO2 nanocrystals by Nb doping for imaging-guided photothermal therapy of tumors

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Abstract

Conventional wide bandgap semiconductors can absorb UV/visible light but have no photoabsorption band in the near-infrared (NIR) region, leading to difficulty in their use as NIR-responsive agents. With TiO2 as an example, we report the tuning from UV-responsive TiO2 nanocrystals to blue TiO2 nanocrystals with newly appeared NIR absorption band through the Nb-doping strategy. A strong NIR band should result from the localized surface plasmon resonances due to the considerable free electrons originating from the efficient incorporation of Nb5+ ions (<15.5%). Interestingly, under the irradiation of a 1064 nm laser, Nb-doped TiO2 nanocrystals can convert laser energy into heat, and higher Nb-doping content can lead to higher NIR-induced temperature elevation, highlighting that the photothermal performances of TiO2 nanocrystals can be dynamically modulated by adjusting the Nb-doping levels. After coating with PEGylated phospholipid, the resulting nanocrystals display water dispersibility, high photothermal conversion efficiency and cytocompatibility. Therefore, these Nb-doped TiO2 nanocrystals can be used as efficient and heavy-metal-free nanoagents for the simultaneous NIR/photoacoustic imaging and photothermal therapy of tumors using a 1064 nm laser in the second biological window.

Graphical abstract: Dynamically tuning near-infrared-induced photothermal performances of TiO2 nanocrystals by Nb doping for imaging-guided photothermal therapy of tumors

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Publication details

The article was received on 28 Mar 2017, accepted on 07 Jun 2017 and first published on 09 Jun 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7NR02180A
Citation: Nanoscale, 2017, Advance Article
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    Dynamically tuning near-infrared-induced photothermal performances of TiO2 nanocrystals by Nb doping for imaging-guided photothermal therapy of tumors

    N. Yu, Y. Hu, X. Wang, G. Liu, Z. Wang, Z. Liu, Q. Tian, M. Zhu, X. Shi and Z. Chen, Nanoscale, 2017, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C7NR02180A

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