High and low molecular weight hyaluronic acid-coated gold nanobipyramids for photothermal therapy
Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is an aggressive subtype of breast cancer. It is known that hyaluronic acid (HA) binds CD44 receptors, which are overexpressed on the surface of TNBC cells. To optimize the targeting ability of HA, in this study we coated gold nanobipyramids (GBPs) with high and low molecular weight HA (380 kDa and 102 kDa), named GBPs@h-HA and GBPs@l-HA, respectively. GBPs@l-HA and GBPs@h-HA had excellent stability when dispersed in water and PBS (pH 7.4) for seven days. The HA density was calculated by the ratio of HA to GBPs@l-HA and GBPs@h-HA, which was 13.22 and 4.77, respectively. The two nanoparticles displayed good photostability, which was evaluated by their photothermal performance and similar biocompatibility. Inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry (ICP-AES) revealed superior cellular uptake of GBPs@h-HA over GBPs@l-HA. Upon 808 nm laser irradiation, the GBPs@h-HA also showed higher therapeutic efficacy than GBPs@l-HA both in vitro and in vivo. Overall, our study demonstrates that the molecular weight of HA plays an important role in the targeting ability and thus photothermal therapeutic efficacy of HA-coated gold nanobipyramids.