Highly biocompatible chlorin e6-poly(dopamine) core–shell nanoparticles for enhanced cancer phototherapy†
Cancer is a life-threatening disease worldwide. Although several approaches, such as surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy, have been proven effective for many patients in clinics, they usually suffer from drug resistance, severe toxic-side effects, patient discomfort, and sometimes, unsatisfactory efficacies. In recent years, phototherapy, as a less invasive but effective therapeutic method, has brought hope for cancer treatment. However, most reported photo-therapeutic agents are constructed using complex components with non-negligible toxicity risk, thus retarding the start of their clinical trials. To address this issue, herein, biocompatible photothermal/photodynamic dual-mode therapeutic nanoparticles (CBP NPs) were successfully designed and constructed based on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved ingredients, chlorin e6 (Ce6) and poly(dopamine) (PDA). Upon light irradiation, hyperthermia was induced and reactive oxygen species (ROS) were generated simultaneously by CBP NPs, contributing to synergistic phototherapy toward cancer. The in vitro and in vivo experiments have demonstrated well the antitumor effect of CBP NPs. More importantly, CBP NPs are completely harmless and degradable in vivo. Together, the CBP NPs developed by us are an ideal candidate for the enhanced phototherapy of tumors, which holds great potential for future clinical translation.