Polypyrrole-encapsulated iron tungstate nanocomposites: a versatile platform for multimodal tumor imaging and photothermal therapy†
A versatile nanoplatform of FeWO4@Polypyrrole (PPy) core/shell nanocomposites, which was facilely fabricated by first hydrothermal synthesis of FeWO4 nanoparticles and subsequent surface-coating of polypyrrole shell, was developed as an effective nanotheranostic agent of cancer. The as-prepared nanocomposites demonstrated excellent dispersion in saline, long-term colloidal storage, outstanding photo-stability and high photothermal efficiency in solution. In particular, FeWO4@PPy exhibited efficient performance for hyperthermia-killing of cancer cells under the irradiation of an 808 nm laser, accompanied with multimodal contrast capabilities for magnetic resonance imaging, X-ray computed tomography and infrared thermal imaging in vitro and in vivo. Furthermore, the nanocomposites presented impactful tumor growth inhibition and good biocompability in animal experiments. Blood circulation and biodistribution of the nanocomposites were also investigated to understand their in vivo behaviours. Our results verified the platform of FeWO4@PPy nanocomposites as a promising photothermal agent for imaging-guided cancer theranostics.