Dual-response CuS@MnO2 nanoparticles with activatable CT/MR-enhanced in vivo imaging guided photothermal therapy
Although photothermal therapy (PTT) has been extensively applied in the treatment of cancer using various types of nanomaterials, low penetration of excitation light, low nanoparticle concentration enrichment and abominable nanoparticle permeation still remain huge obstacles in cancer therapy. Herein, we synthesized stable cupric sulfide nanoparticles (CuS NPs) with small size, which after functionalization with a MnO2 coating, were employed for diagnosing and treating tumors. After reacting with an RGD peptide, the nanoparticles were able to target and focus on tumor sites. Once the nanoparticles were enriched in tumors by RGD targeting, the MnO2 coating decomposed to Mn2+ ions in the tumor microenvironment. Meanwhile, the decomposition of MnO2 allowed the dispersion of aggregated CuS NPs to enter deep tumors, and a 1064 nm laser with powerful penetration was utilized to activate CuS NPs in deep tumors for PTT. More importantly, the generated Mn2+ ions were used for stimuli-enhanced T1-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (T1-MRI) and agminated CuS NPs in tumors were accepted for computed tomography (CT) imaging. It was found that these nanocomposites can accurately indicate tumor sites after being intravenously injected, and in vitro and in vivo experiments illustrated the tremendous potential of these nanoplatforms for use in imaging-guided PTT against HepG2 tumors.