Conjugated polymers for photothermal therapy of cancer
Due to the high specificity, low side effects, and great efficacy, photothermal therapy using light energy to burn cancer has been proposed as an attractive alternative to traditional cancer therapies. In the recent few years, researchers have found that various conjugated polymers with strong absorbance in the near-infrared (NIR) window, if appropriately functionalized, could serve as highly effective photothermal agents, showing encouraging cancer ablation results both in vitro and in vivo. Those polymers could also be utilized as drug delivery carriers to load many aromatic therapeutic agents with high loading efficiencies, promising for combination cancer therapy. Thus, this mini-review article would discuss the latest progress in the development of conjugated polymers for photothermal therapy of cancer.