An NIR-sensitive layered supramolecular nanovehicle for combined dual-modal imaging and synergistic therapy
A supramolecular nanovehicle, denoted as ICG-DOX/Gd-LDH, was synthesized by the co-intercalation of indocyanine green (ICG) and doxorubicin hydrochloride (DOX) into a gallery of Gd3+-doped-layered double hydroxide (Gd-LDH) such that to achieve a chemo-photothermal synergistic therapeutic agent. The unique structure of Gd-LDH can not only stabilize the photothermal agent ICG to enhance the photothermal efficiency, but also hamper the recombination between electron and holes, leading to the generation of more reactive oxygen species (ROS) under irradiation in the NIR range. Together with the loading capacity of DOX, ICG-DOX/Gd-LDH exhibited excellent combinatorial effects on tumor growth inhibition in both in vitro studies on HeLa cell line and in vivo tests over tumor-bearing mouse models. Moreover, it showed ideal ability for long-term tracing of the carrier distribution via either MRI or fluorescence imaging. Thus, this study indicates that Gd-LDH is a promising platform for the construction of multifunctional formulations, especially theranostic nano-systems for cancer treatment.