Combined photothermal and photodynamic therapy delivered by PEGylated MoS2 nanosheets
Single- or few-layered transitional metal dichalcogenides, as a new genus of two-dimensional nanomaterials, have attracted tremendous attention in recent years, owing to their various intriguing properties. In this study, chemically exfoliated MoS2 nanosheets are modified with lipoic acid-terminated polyethylene glycol (LA-PEG), obtaining PEGylated MoS2 (MoS2-PEG) with high stability in physiological solutions and no obvious toxicity. Taking advantage of its ultra-high surface area, the obtained MoS2-PEG is able to load a photodynamic agent, chlorin e6 (Ce6), by physical adsorption. In vitro experiments reveal that Ce6 after being loaded on MoS2-PEG shows remarkably increased cellular uptake and thus significantly enhanced photodynamic therapeutic efficiency. Utilizing the strong, near-infrared (NIR) absorbance of the MoS2 nanosheets, we further demonstrate photothermally enhanced photodynamic therapy using Ce6-loaded MoS2-PEG for synergistic cancer killing, in both in vitro cellular and in vivo animal experiments. Our study presents a new type of multifunctional nanocarrier for the delivery of photodynamic therapy, which, if combined with photothermal therapy, appears to be an effective therapeutic approach for cancer treatment.