Integration of fluorescence/photoacoustic imaging and targeted chemo/photothermal therapy with Ag2Se@BSA-RGD nanodots†
Nanotheranostic agents that integrate diagnostic and therapeutic components into one single ultrasmall nanoparticle hold great promise in cancer imaging and therapy, but their synthesis still remains challenging. Here, Ag2Se@BSA-RGD quantum dots (QDs) were successfully synthesized in an aqueous phase by using bovine serum albumin (BSA) as both the template and dispersant and coupled with the tumor targeting molecule Arg–Gly–Asp (RGD). The prepared Ag2Se@BSA-RGD QDs exhibited fascinating properties such as small size (2.46 nm), high biocompatibility, excellent stability in a cell medium, high cellular uptake efficiency, high fluorescence quantum yield, strong photoacoustic signals and promising photothermal conversion efficiency, providing great potential for applications in synchronous imaging and synergetic therapy. Furthermore, by loading DOX into these QDs, an all-in-one theranostic platform by integrating fluorescence/photoacoustic imaging and targeted chemo/photothermal therapy was successfully established in this study.