Polymer encapsulated clinical ICG nanoparticles for enhanced photothermal therapy and NIR fluorescence imaging in cervical cancer†
Photothermal therapy (PTT) is a popular tumor therapy method, which is based on efficient photothermal nanoagents (PTNs). Clinical Indocyanine Green (ICG), as a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved agent, is an often-used PTN, meanwhile it is also a good near-infrared (NIR) fluorescence contrast agent. However, the further applications of ICG in biomedical fields are limited due to its poor stability. In this study, ICG was encapsulated by the amphiphilic polymer poly(styrene-co-maleic anhydride) (PSMA) to form ICG@PSMA nanoparticles. Furthermore, optical and thermal characteristics of ICG@PSMA nanoparticles were studied in detail. Strong NIR fluorescence and excellent photothermal properties of ICG@PSMA nanoparticles under 808 nm laser irradiation were measured. Besides, favorable biocompatibility of ICG@PSMA nanoparticles was demonstrated on a human cervical cancer cell line (HeLa) via cell viability studies. Hence, ICG@PSMA nanoparticles were further applied to enhanced PTT of living HeLa cells under 808 nm excitation, and a high PTT efficiency of ∼70% was obtained. The novel ICG nanoparticles as a promising PTT nanoplatform could offer an opportunity for further tumour treatments.