Carrier-free nano-integrated strategy for synergetic cancer anti-angiogenic therapy and phototherapy†
Herein, a nano-integrated strategy was used to combine an anti-angiogenic agent sorafenib and a photosensitizer chlorin e6 to form carrier-free multifunctional nanoparticles (SC NPs) for synergetic anti-angiogenic therapy and phototherapy. SC NPs (diameter, ∼152 nm) presented excellent water dispersity and passive targeting ability towards tumor sites in vivo based on the enhanced permeability and retention (EPR) effect, which could be monitored by fluorescence imaging. Besides, SC NPs exhibited effective reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation and photothermal conversion abilities for both photodynamic therapy (PDT) and photothermal therapy (PTT). At a rather low dosage (200 μg kg−1) and illumination with laser (660 nm, 500 mW cm−2), SC NPs could attack tumor tissues by killing the internal tumor cells via mild phototherapy, simultaneously cutting off the external nutrient and oxygen supplements of the tumor cells via anti-angiogenesis. Besides, oxygen consumption in the PDT process may be combined with anti-angiogenic therapy to further cause cell apoptosis by tumor starvation. In addition to the highly efficient therapeutic effect in vivo, SC NPs possessed excellent biosafety and biocompatibility, making them promising for fluorescence imaging-guided synergetic anti-angiogenic therapy and phototherapy in clinic.