Near-infrared conjugated polymers for photoacoustic imaging-guided photothermal/chemo combination therapy†
Conjugated polymers (CPs) with intensive near-infrared (NIR) absorption and high photothermal conversion efficiency (PCE) have emerged as a new generation of photothermal therapy (PTT) and photoacoustic imaging (PAI) agents for cancer therapy. PTT + chemotherapy has been identified as a powerful modality to offer synergistic effects in the destruction and monitoring of cancer tissues. In this study, diketopyrrolopyrrole-based polymers (DPP) were designed through a combination of donor–acceptor moieties. Then, doxorubicin (DOX) and DPP were co-encapsulated in tocopheryl polyethylene-glycol-succinate-cholesterol (TPGS-CHO) copolymers to build a combined theranostic system for tumor treatment. These combined NPs with high PCE (∼50%) and strong (NIR) absorption exhibit excellent real-time photoacoustic imaging detection and synergistic cancer inhibition.